Home PoliticsAndhra News

Postal ballots: YSRC to move HC against EC

Postal ballots: YSRC to move HC against EC

YSR Congress party is fretting and fuming at the latest circular issued by chief electoral officer (CEO) of Andhra Pradesh Mukesh Kumar Meena giving certain relaxations in the counting of postal ballots polled for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state.

While there are specific guidelines from the Election Commission on counting of postal ballots, Meena, acting on a representation by the opposition parties, issued a circular on May 25 asking the election officers in all districts of Andhra Pradesh not to reject the postal ballots, even if they do not have the seal of the RO on Form 13A, provided the attesting officer has given all relevant details with regard to his name and designation on that Form.

The CEO said in the event of any issue arising at the time of counting, the serial number of that postal ballot paper can be verified with the serial number on the counterfoil of the said postal ballot paper. 

In a representation given to the CEO on Tuesday, YSRCP leader Perni Venkatramaiah alias Nani, Meruga Nagarjuna and Lella Appi Reddy demanded that he should withdrawal of the circular, issued under pressure from the Telugu Desam Party.

Nani said postal ballots could become invalid without the seal of the RO.

“Such relaxations would not only create confusion among the counting officials but also lead to clashes within the counting centres if agents raise their objections,” he said.

YSRCP Rajya Sabha member Y V Subba Reddy said the party had decided to move the state high court if the ECI did not respond to its objections on relation of rules for counting of postal ballots. He sought to know how the ECI rules applicable to all the states could be relaxed in AP.

“Any postal ballot without the seal and signature of the RO should be rejected,” he asserted.

In a letter to chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday, another YSRCP Rajya Sabha member S Niranjan Reddy found fault with the CEO directions to collect specimen signatures of attesting officers, which could be verified with the signatures on postal ballots, so that they could be allowed.

The MP said it would result in the rejection of valid postal ballots and compromise the integrity of the electoral process.

In the polling held on May 13, a record number of 5,39,189 postal ballot votes were polled in Andhra Pradesh by state government employees, including those who were deployed on election duty.

The YSRCP leaders are said to be apprehensive that the state government employees had not voted for the party. 


Tags: YSRCP Andhra Pradesh High Court Election Commission