As part of its efforts to guard against forced withdrawal of nominations for the municipal elections, the State Election Commission (SEC) has directed the Returning Officers to accept withdrawals only from the candidates and not through intermediaries.
Further, the SEC ordered that the candidates should not be accompanied by any person at the time of withdrawal to ensure that it was done on own volition.
State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar said in a press release that despite all those measures, certain instances of forced withdrawal of nominations had been reported in the media and he took a serious note of the incidents.
In one such case of a forged withdrawal in the 7th division in Tirupati Municipal Corporation, steps were taken to facilitate the candidate to lodge complaints with the returning officer concerned and police and the same was being treated as an election fraud.
Similar action would be taken in all such cases in the State without exception, and instructions had been issued to District Collectors and District Election Authorities. The Secretary and Joint Secretary of the SEC will personally look into the complaints considered as grave in nature, Mr. Ramesh Kumar stated.