EC directs action against YSRCP MLA over EVM ‘vandalism’ 

YRCP’s P Ramakrishna Reddy was allegedly caught on the web camera vandalising an EVM at a polling centre in the Macharla constituency of Palnadu district….reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission (EC) took serious note of the allegations of damage to an electronic voting machine (EVM) by YSRCP MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy and launched a probe against him.

The action followed days after the YSRCP MLA was allegedly caught on the web camera vandalising an EVM at a polling centre in the Macharla constituency of Palnadu district.

A video of the alleged incident involving the ruling YSRCP MLA surfaced, after which the poll panel handed over the video clips to the state police, asking them to assist in the investigation.

“YSRCP Sitting MLA Pinneli Ramakrishna Reddy was recorded on a web camera during the incident of vandalising EVMs in 7 polling centres, including PS number 202 in Macharla Assembly constituency,” the chief electoral officer of Andhra Pradesh said in an official statement.

“Palnadu district election officials handed over the video footage of all such polling stations to the police to assist in the investigation into the vandalism incident. The police stated that the MLA’s name has been included as an accused in the investigation,” the statement added.

“The EC is taking this matter very seriously and has directed CEO Mukesh Kumar Meena to inform the DGP to take strict action against all those involved in these incidents. Therefore, the EC hopes that no one will dare to commit such misdeeds in the future to conduct the elections peacefully,” it stated further.

Opposition leader and the national general secretary of the Telugu Desam Party, Nara Lokesh, alleged that the legislator from the ruling party helmed by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy resorted to destroying the EVMs fearing defeat in the elections.

He also shared a video of the alleged incident on X.

Taking to his personal X handle, Nara Lokesh posted, “YS Jagan Mohan Reddy not only killed his own uncle but also the people who voted for him and, finally, democracy itself. YCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy vandalised the EVM at the Palwai Gate polling centre in the Macharla Constituency.”

“I demand that the Election Commission take strict action against Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, who vandalised EVMs and attacked them out of fear of defeat. People are going to give a real verdict on YCP’s factional politics on June 4,” Lokesh, the son of former CM and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, added.

Earlier, on Tuesday, an Ambedkar statue at Agraharam village in Pithapuram of Kakinada district was allegedly vandalised by unidentified persons, leading to a ruckus in the vicinity and disrupting vehicular movement.

The police assured strict action against the vandals after the Dalits gathered in protest, demanding justice.

The protests led to a disruption of traffic movement. Police personnel were deployed in large numbers and the traffic was diverted to the highway.

The ruling YSRCP is contesting all 175 seats in the assembly elections, eyeing a fresh term in the House, while the TDP is fighting on 144 seats as part of a seat-sharing deal with the BJP and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena.

As part of the seat allotment, the Jana Sena is contesting 21 seats in the state and the BJP 10.

Andhra Pradesh polled for the assembly as well as the Lok Sabha in a single phase on May 13. Widespread violence was reported across the state as the polling closed. (ANI)

Gangopadhyay barred from campaigning for 24 hours

The Election Commission of India (ECI), on Tuesday barred former judge of Calcutta High Court and BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for 24 hours, as a fallout of his derogatory comments against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made earlier this month.

As per the ECI’s order Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who is contesting from Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency in East Midnapore District of West Bengal, has been barred from campaigning for a period starting from 5 P.M. on Tuesday till 5 P.M. on Wednesday.

At a public meeting in Haldia on May 15, Abhijit Gangopadhyay said in Bengali, “Mamata Banerjee, how much are you being sold for? Your rate is Rs 10 lakh, why? Because you’re getting your make-up done by Keya Seth? Mamata Banerjee, is she even a woman? I keep wondering sometimes.”

On May 17, the ECI slapped a show-cause notice on Abhijit Gangopadhyay acting on a complaint from the Trinamool Congress accusing him of making derogatory comments about Mamata Banerjee.

Accordingly Abhijit Gangopadhyay replied to the show-case notice within the stipulated time-frame on May 20.

After reviewing his reply, said insiders from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), West Bengal, the commission decided to bar him from campaigning for 24 hours.

The demeaning remarks by Abhijit Gangopadhyay went viral after a video emerged online a day later in which he could be heard wondering about the amount at which CM Banerjee was getting sold.

Polling for Tamluk along with seven other Lok Sabha constituencies is scheduled in the sixth phase on May 25.

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