Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lok Satta complains to CEO on corrupt Practices in MLC elections

The Lok Satta Party today represented to the Election Commission of India to take cognizance of the corrupt electoral practices in the elections to the AP Legislative Council on May 7 and act swiftly and decisively to curb them.

In a memorandum presented to Dr. I. V. Subba Rao, Chief Electoral Officer, Election Commission of India, Lok Satta leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji, and P. Bhaskara Rao referred to reports of widespread instances of bribing of voters, bussing of voters to ‘camps’ outside the State and other attempts at intimidation. “Such brazen attempts constitute nothing but corrupt electoral practices under the Representation of the People Act.”

The Lok Satta said that although vote buying through money and liquor has been a feature of elections, new depths were reached in elections to the Legislative Council in that such illegitimate expenses have already exceeded Rs.15 crore for one seat of the RR District local authorities’ constituency with 653 voters.

“If such brazen attempts to hijack the electoral process are allowed without hindrance, ‘free-and-fair elections’ would be reduced to a mockery and all canons of democracy and free exercise of franchise will stand violated.”

Talking to the media, the Lok Satta leaders said that direct election of heads of government ranging from Chief Minister to sarpanch, and election of legislators and others through proportional representation alone would curb money power in elections.

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