There have been a host of complaints to the Election Commission of India and the Election Commission of Andhra Pradesh regarding two major violations of the entire process. The State Election Commission is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the Election Commission of India, which is based in Delhi. Here we find that both the ECI and the Andhra Pradesh Election Commission have ignored the frauds being committed don’t he election process.
It is joint effort between the two Election Commissions to pretend that nothing fraudulent has happened. On May 16, the Election Commission of India will hold a media event and congratulate itself grandly. But thanks to the vigilant media, two major frauds have been exposed:
a. The open buying of Postal ballots of government servants and officials who have been given Election duty has become a major issue. Nearly 12 days ago, on the same day, all over Andhra Pradesh, the officials who were to report for election duty were given their ballots in their constituencies. Rival political parties had set up camps, offering food, banquets and then finally cash for their postal ballots. Such purchase of postal ballots was widely reported in the media and both the Election Commissions acknowledged the complaints and said they were examining the whole issue.
b. The Supreme Court has periodically confirmed that the Election Commission has over-whelming powers to conduct election. When the buying of postal ballots of polling officials has been widely publicized, what has prevented the State Election Commission from expeditiously cancelling such ballots?
c. What has prevented the Andhra State Election Commission from initiating action against the sale of Postal ballots? The State Election Commission has never hesitated to announce media-attention grabbing issues, even if they were really peripheral and marginal? It means that the State Election Commission wants media attention and distract the public from real issues.
Aside from the massive and open vote-buying which started in Andhra Pradesh since 5th May,2014, the State Election Commission has shown itself to be media- savvy and has never tackled the issues. There have been farcical elections in Andhra Pradesh.
The Election Commission of India cannot distance itself from the sordid going-ons in Andhra Pradesh. Even if there is a state –wide repoll, it will be welcomed by the people. The entire election process has been polluted and the State Election Commission has either been un-willing or un-able to conduct a free election.