Election Commission in Hyderabad to review poll arrangements


Hyderabad : The three-member Election Commission of India arrived here Thursday evening on a two-day visit to review the arrangements for the next month’s Lok Sabha polls.

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Soon after their arrival, Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy and two commissioners held a meeting with the representatives of the national and regional parties.

Simultaneous elections to 294-member state assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state are scheduled to be held in two phases April 16 and 23.

During the meeting with the Election Commission, leaders of the political parties complained against one another about the alleged violation of model code of conduct.

The issue of alleged violation of the code by state police chief S.S.P. Yadav also figured prominently at the meeting.

The director general of police, at a press conference in Kurnool, had praised the Congress government and Chief Minister Y.S.Rajashekhara Reddy, evoking strong protests from the opposition.

The Election Commission, which has already sought an explanation from Yadav, is likely to announce its action Friday.

Leader of Opposition and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the ruling Congress was involved in several violations.

The Lok Satta of former bureaucrat Jaiprakash Narayan in its representation raised the questions about the populist promises of the TDP like free television and cash transfer to the poor.

The communist parties demanded that the police chief and state chief secretary Ramakant Reddy be removed from their posts.

State Finance Minister K. Roshaiah, who met the Election Commissioners on behalf of the Congress, urged them to lift the restrictions imposed on extending benefits of Aarogyasri, a community health insurance scheme, so that people could continue to benefit from it.

The Election Commission Friday will review the poll arrangements in a meting with the district collectors and district superintendents of police and other officials.