Former minister and senior Congress leaders Marri Shashidhar Reddy alleged that Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana Rajat Kumar was trying to hide information about extraordinary polling that took place after 5 pm on polling day of Lok Sabha Election, April 11, 2019.
Stating that the CEO was not forthcoming in sharing the data he had asked for, Reddy, who is also Chairman, Congress’ Election Commission Coordination Committee of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), recalled how the CEO had delayed responding to their most urgent query.
“We sought booth-wise information on votes polled till 5 pm in a letter addressed to CEO on May 1 stating the letter was urgent. The CEO response shows the date of May 7, 2019, and but it reaches Gandhi Bhavan on May 13. See, the meaning of ‘most urgent’ in the view of EC,” Reddy said.
A delegation of Congress leaders led by Reddy had sought booth-wise data on votes polled till 5 pm in four Lok Sabha constituencies — Nizambad, Secunderabad, Khammam, and Chevella. There were reports that the polling picked up only after 5 pm and was extraordinary. So, Congress wants to do a comparitive study of the polling before and after 5 pm, he said.
Reddy alleged that the CEO had been avoiding making the details available.
“The CEO has “misled” us by stating the RO would report “provisional’ figures. But there is no such provision for provisional figures in the Handbook for returning and presiding officers,” he said.
He asked the CEO if the Returning Officers of all the 17 constituencies gave a declaration that the figures given were provisional.
Reddy said the party was planning to approach the court for justice.