KA-NAIDU-EC RPTING

EC functioning under guidance of PM, BJP: Chandrababu Naidu
(Eds;rpting after adding background in 3rd and 4th paras)
Bengaluru, Apr 15 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N
Chandrabab Naidu, key interlocutor among 21 opposition parties
demanding verification of at least 50 per cent of polled votes
against VVAPT slips, Monday alleged the Election Commission
was functioning under the 'guidance' of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and the BJP.
Opposition parties on Sunday had held a meeting to
discuss the issue of EVM malfunctioning and said they will
approach the Supreme Court again to demand that at least 50
per cent of paper trails be verified with EVMs.
The parties had put forth the demand days before the 2nd
phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on April 18, when the
a total of 97 constituencies across 13 states go to polls. The
first of the seven-phase polls was held on April 11.
The Supreme Court had on Monday asked the Election
Commission to increase the random matching of VVPAT slips with
votes cast through EVMs at five polling booths per assembly
segment, from one at present, in the Lok Sabha polls.
It had given the direction saying the measure would
provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but
the entire electorate.
Naidu had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora
Saturday to raise the issue of alleged malfunctioning of EVMs.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief also asked the
people of Karnataka to vote in favor of the JD(S)- Congress
coalition candidates in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
"Yesterday I met the Election Commission. All of you
are here and I want to tell you one thing. This Election
Commission is working under the guidance of Narendra Modi and
BJP," Naidu said, addressing a public meeting in Mandyas
Pandavapura.
Alleging that the independent functioning of all
constitutional organisations is under threat,he said "We are
all together to fight against EVMs...as of today EVMs are
vulnerable."
Demanding verification of VVPAT paper trails of 50 per
cent of the EVMs, he said "...we all suspect that the
government of India and also the Election Commission of doing
some fraud in VVPAT."
Naidu on Monday campaigned in Mandya,where Chief Minister
H D Kumaraswamys son Nikhil is the joint candidate of the
ruling JD(S)-Congress alliance.
Noting that this was a very important election for the
nation and not just for Mandya or Karnataka alone, he said,
"I'm appealing to all of you in Karnataka ...you have to vote
for the JD(S)-Congress candidates.
Naidu alleged that the current Prime Minister was the
least accountable one in the last 70 years.
"He never addressed one press conference...Democracy is in
danger," he said, as he alleged that the CBI, Enforcement
Directorate, Income Tax department, Reserve Bank of India, and
the Election commission of India were being misused by Modi
and BJP President Amit Shah.
"Has Narendra Modi done anything for Karnataka in the
last five years? We are paying taxes, nothing has been done
for our states...even for Andhra Pradesh and other South
Indian states and several parts of the country," he said as he
hit out at Modi on various issues, including theRafale deal.
Praising former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Naidu asked people
of Mandya to vote for Nikhil and defeat BJP in the state.
Interestingly, multi-lingual actress and widow of actor
turned politician M H Ambareesh- Sumalatha, who is from Andra
Pradesh and reportedly belongs to the Naidu community, is
contesting as independent against Nikhil, for whom Naidu
campaigned on Monday in the Vokkaliga bastion.
With an intention to avoid large-scale damage to JD(S)
with splitting of Vokkaliga votes as both Nikhil and Sumalatha
hail from the community, a campaign is on in Mandya to project
her as an outsider, with several party leaders questioning her
identity and stating that she is not a "Gowdthi" (not
Vokkaliga), pointing at her Telugu background. PTI KSU APR
APR APR