With Local Body Elections notification schedule released by the State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, news is that he is planning to come out with an application to monitor the elections instead of the webcasting as is usually the practice.This act is allegedly being termed as a conspiracy to favour the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
It is reported that the topic of election webcasting came up for discussion during a video conference with Collectors held on Wednesday and Nimmagadda expressed dissatisfaction that the webcasting quality was not of good quality.
He said an app was needed to make complaints about the election process. To which an officer said that there is already a surveillance app in place for it by the State Government. Nimmagadda replied that he did not need it and much to the officials surprise, said that the Central Election Commission had brought an app for making complaints, and he had made a similar one himself, and would use it. However, he refused to divulge any details about the app. The Election Commissioner's Office has not yet made any announcement about the app also.
Many pointers are being raised and discussed as to how an Election Commissioner creates his own app for one to complain about the election process?
How can he keep it a secret and shouldn't the government have already been informed if anything like that is being made?
Which company is creating it and who has entrusted that work to that company?
Can the l Election Commissioner actually make such an app with a company of his choice?
Can these be used in democratically held elections?
With the ECs previous questionable acts of notifying the schedule without a proper consultation with the government, censuring senior IAS officials and now, with this secret app seems to further raise doubts about the level of transparency in the coming Panchayat elections.
A Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader on the condition of anonymity, revealed that former Intelligence Chief AB Venkateshwara Rao and former Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas were arranging to monitor the elections from Hyderabad through this app on behalf of the TDP on the day of polling.
TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu unanimously released a manifesto on behalf of the TDP to thwart consensus in this non-party election. Their party has given a call for nominations everywhere in the coming week. It is learned that the strategy is to field nominations even in villages where the TDP party is not strong and to create clashes in villages where unanimous elections are likely to take place.
It is also learned that a special control room has been set up for this purpose. In this context, it is reported that Nimmagadda Ramesh is maintaining confidentiality without revealing more details about the app, and that on the day of polling, TDP party workers have made a strategy to make more complaints through this app have them reviewed them and take decisions that will be favourable to them.
The fact is that the EC who is close to the TDP High Command is in a hurry to conduct the local body election process, as he will be in office for only two more months. In fact, the Election Commission of India is successfully implementing a ‘webcasting’ process to examine the pattern of polling in the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. In the case of complaints, the state government maintains a highly capable surveillance app. Officials are in the opinion that it is rather strange that he says he will use his own app for surveillance.
''Webcasting is objective (transparent approach) ... an app subjective (the process of creating evidence in support of their complaint). For a Commissioner to make such a controversial decision is something one cannot fathom. His approach has always been controversial from the beginning. I have been observing him for 23 years as an officer of the Indian administrative service. The person is no way qualified to hold a constitutional office. I again reiterate... webcasting is a fact and an app is equivalent to tampering, said a former IAS officer on anonymity.