Cong claims match fixing on Telangana poll dates

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat flanked by Election Commissioners Sunil Arora (L) and Ashok Lavasa (R) address a press conference to announce the dates for Assembly elections in five states, in Delhi, Saturday. PTI

With the Election Commission of India (ECI) declaring poll schedule for Telangana, former minister and Congress leader Marri Sashidhar Reddy, who has filed a PIL in Hyderabad High Court on alleged discrepancies in the voter's list, has said that he would seek legal advice on the ECI decision.

The HC bench comprising Chief Justice T B Radhakrishnan and Justice S V Bhatt on Friday directed the ECI not to notify the final voters' list in Telangana till it heard the plea on the faulty lists. The bench also told the ECI counsel that the question of alleged discrepancies in the voter's list shall be answered by the commission alone and not the Telangana state government.
 
Reddy’s counsel argued that the number of total voters in Telangana before 2014 elections was 2.81 crore, which has come down to 2.61 crore, attributing the reduction to deletion of voters from the list. He said that Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar’s explanation that the reduction is due to the migration of natives of Andhra Pradesh back to their native state is strange. The bench sought a counter by EC by Monday.
 
22 lakh will lose vote
 
Former Congress MP Madhu Yashki speaking to media following the declaration of election schedule said that over 22 lakh voters will lose an opportunity to vote in the elections if the lists are not rectified. “We see a match-fixing here as K Chandrasekhar Rao himself has declared election schedule on the day he dissolved the state Assembly on 6 September,” he said.
 
He pointed out that the same ECI which has shown undue hurry in declaring elections in Telangana even while the case is pending before the HC, is not willing to conduct by-elections to 5 MP seats vacated by YSRCP members in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Code in place: CEO
 
Meanwhile, the CEO has said that the high court has not put a bar on the conduct of elections and will abide by the HC direction on the voters' list. He declared that all the banners and cut outs on government buildings will have to be cleared within 24 hours as the election code of conduct is in place with the ECI declaring the schedule. 

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Cong claims match fixing on Telangana poll dates

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