‘Permission of SEC is must for staging a protest when model code is in force’
Accusing TDP president Nara Chandra Babu Naidu of ‘staging a drama for no reason’, Advisor to the State government (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said that the TDP president should respect the laws when the model code of conduct for the municipal elections is in force.
He was referring to Mr. Naidu being detained at the Renigunta airport when the latter landed there to take part in a protest being organised by his party’s cadres in Chittoor.
After three-hour deliberations with the YSRCP MLAs, MPs, and other prominent leaders from Anantapur Parliamentary constituency here on Monday, Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy said that the TDP was unable to find candidates to field from various wards in municipalities, and its president was blaming the YSRCP of blocking their candidates from filing nominations.
“Is it possible to physically stop the candidates of recognised political parties from filing nominations? In 13,000 panchayats where elections were held, the TDP had levelled similar charges but could not make more than 160 complaints reach the police or the State Election Commission(SEC),” said Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy.
Having served as the Chief Minister, Mr. Naidu should have known that taking the permission from the SEC to hold a dharna in Tirupati or Chittoor was mandatory.
“Despite police denying permission for dharna, why did Mr. Naidu land at Renigunta airport to take part in the programme? The police had advised him to take part in election campaign, not dharna. But, he did not listen,” Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy said.
Making light of the TDP manifesto for municipal elections, Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy questioned the rationale behind increasing taxes from 40% to 100% in urban local bodies in 2018 and now promising to waive them.
“We will cooperate with the SEC when it comes to its order of not assigning poll duty to the ward volunteers. However, it should not result in trouble to people,” Mr. Ramakrishna said while replying to a question.
“If volunteers could influence the voters, then every government employee assigned with election duty could also do so,” he opined.