CEO's remarks create flutter
April 30, 2014 - Hyderabad
The State Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal's remarks on the vote cast by TDP president Nara Chandrababu Naidu be declared as invalid raised curtains for a debate.
The issue rose when Chandrababu Naidu reportedly gave a statement that he had cast his vote in favour of the BJP in accordance with the 'alliance dharma'. He was speaking to reporters after he and his family members voted at a booth in Khairatabad constituency which was allocated to the BJP.
A question was posted to the Chief Electoral Officer immediately by press person if a person could reveal the name of the candidate he had voted for. Bhanwar Lal said the vote would be declared invalid under Rule 39 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 which stipulated that one should maintain secrecy of vote at the polling station.
The TDP chief Naidu dashed off a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath charging Bhanwar Lal with making irresponsible statements. He also sent a delegation headed by TD Janardhan to Bhanwar Lal who presented the case. They challenged that the CEO has no jurisdiction to cancel or making a vote invalid. Naidu immediately sent one his emissaries to the CEC in New Delhi to seek clarification on the whole episode.
The Chief Election Commissioner Sampath later issued a clarification that the vote cast by Naidu will be counted much to the embarrassment to Bhanwar Lal.
This statement of Bhanwar Lal created a furore and the TDP leaders went in a verbal duet with the CEO who clarified that he had only said the rule position.