Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has raised serious doubts over the impartiality and neutrality of Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar and alleged that the Model Code of Conduct was not being implemented in Telangana State.
He was addressing a press conference after holding an emergency meeting with the AICC/TPCC Office Bearers, MPs, ex-MLAs, MLCs, DCC Presidents and State Heads of Frontal organisations at Gandhi Bhavan on Monday. Senior leaders including AICC Telangana Inchage R.C. Khuntia, AICC Secretary Saleem Ahmed, Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, ex-MLAs Dr. J. Geetha Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, TPCC Working Presidents Ponnam Prabhakar and A. Revanth Reddy and Vice-President Dr. Mallu Ravi and Chief Spokesperson Dr. Sravan Dasoju were also present in the press conference.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the CEO did not take any action against the violation of Model Code of Conduct across the Telangana State. He pointed out that the government advertisements with pictures of caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and other ministers were not removed from the RTC buses. Similarly, big hoardings of government schemes with CM and ministers’ pictures still exists at several prime locations in the city. He informed that TPCC Working President Dr. Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka gave a representation to Chief Secretary Dr. S.K. Joshi in this regard today. He said that the Congress party would be giving a representation to Election Commission of India on non-implementation of MCC and would also approach the Supreme Court, if required.
The TPCC President said that the election authorities made no efforts to allay fears related to effective functioning of Electronic Voting Machines. He said the demonstration on EVMs was being given only in some district headquarters. He demanded that the EVM demonstration should be arranged in all Assembly constituencies by inviting representatives of all political parties. He said there were lot of suspicions that KCR and KTR might resort to tampering of EVMs to win next elections.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also alleged that several newspapers and news channels were giving biased coverage in favour of ruling party while defaming leaders of other parties. He said entire news bulletin of some news channels have turned into propaganda tool for the ruling party. He said owners of some media organisations have close relationship with the ruling party and in some cases the TRS leaders are the major share holders secretly. Therefore, he said that the Congress party was approaching the Election Commission of India to keep an eye on the extensive coverage being given by media to ruling and treat it as paid news. He said the ECI should take immediate measures to ensure free and fair elections in Telangana.
The TPCC President also informed that, as per the directives of AICC, the Congress party would be organising Jan Sampark Abhiyaan from October 2 to October 10 as part of 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. He said besides floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on Tuesday, the Congress leaders would hoist party flags in all Assembly and Mandal Headquarters and would conduct door-to-door campaign for a week across the State.
Uttam Kumar Reddy appealed to the people to be cautious with KCR and other leaders of TRS who are trying to influence voters with their ill-gotten wealth. “KCR looted the people’s wealth in name of irrigation and other projects and he is now trying to use the same to win next elections,” he alleged while adding that crores of rupees have been sent to TRS candidates to buy leaders of other parties in their constituencies and also to distribute it among voters. He also appealed the media to expose this in a serious manner.
Reacting to the criticism by TRS leaders on Congress party’s possible alliance with other parties by calling some as ‘Telangana Drohis’ (betrayers)’, Uttam Kumar Reddy said KCR himself is the ‘Telangana Drohi No. 1″ on multiple counts. He alleged that KCR has betrayed Dalits, Girijans and other sections by not honouring the promises made to them. “KCR came to power by making false promises. Then he looted the public wealth through various means and lived a lavish lifestyle, along with his family, on public money. He is now trying to use the same ill-gotten money to return to power by any means. Therefore, the only person who deserves to be called ‘Telangana Drohi No. 1’ is KCR,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said before going for next election campaign, KCR should tender an unconditional apology to the people for the serious damage he has caused to the wealth, resources and interest of Telangana. For the same reason, he said Congress has given a call for ‘KCR Hatao, Telangana Bachao’ (Remove KCR, Save Telangana).
Meanwhile, RC Khuntia also expressed apprehensions that the EVMs and election process in Telangana could be manipulated. He also informed that the Congress party would raise funds from party workers and the target is to collect Rs. 5,000 from each polling booth level. He said that KCR was trying to harass Congress leaders due to the fear of losing next elections. He said that the Congress party would face, fight and win the next Assembly elections.
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Shabbir Ali and Revanth Reddy also spoke.