Hyderabad: The Nizamabad Lok Sabha election will be a test case in the war of EVMs verses ballot papers. As many as 185 candidates in the fray, 182 of them farmers after the withdrawal of nominations on Thursday.
As per the Election Commission, ballot papers will be used instead of EVMs if any Lok Sabha constituency has more than 64 candidates. In view of this, Telangana chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar said ballot papers would be used in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency.
The outcome of this would be that counting of votes and declaration of the result would be delayed.
Opposition parties at the national level have demanded a return to elections by ballot papers, alleging that EVMs can be fixed. Opposition parties have alleged that there are many instances of EVMs having gone rogue in high numbers.
They said the speculation about EVMs being programmed to transfer votes to the ruling party no matter which button was pressed had raised doubts about the credibility of EVMs and the purity of the electoral process.
The Election Commission has time and again condemned these allegations and doubts.
After the recent Assembly elections in the state, the Congress had alleged that the TRS government had ‘managed’ the EVMs to win. TRS leaders condemned the Congress allegations.
Now, following the MLC election results TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has stated again that the Congress would have won if the elections were held through ballot papers.
Congress leaders said the party would win in Nizamabad. Their TRS counterparts said the mode of voting did not matter and the ruling party would win. They pointed to the outcome of the panchayat elections which were conducted through ballot papers and which TRS-backed candidates won.
Elsewhere, 60 candidates withdrew their nominations for the Lok Sabha elections in the state, the highest, 10, from Bhongir. No one withdrew from the fray in Peddapalli and Mahbubnagar, and one candidate each withdrew from Nagarkurnool, Chevella, Malkajgiri and Karimnagar.
According to EC officials, 443 candidates would contest the ensuing LS polls.
Chief electoral officer Dr Rajat Kumar Mr Kumar said that EC has sought explanation from TRS party for indulging in political activities in Pragati Bhavan. He said that the EC has also received complaint on young farmer Sharath Bhoomi in Mancherial district.
He said that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao called him over phone after a Facebook post that his land was registered on somebody else’s name by the revenue department officials.
He said Mr Rao assured him of justice over phone for which Opposition finding fault.