In a major embarrassment to the caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat denied having any discussions about early polls with him and also slammed his speculation on when the polls will be held.
Speaking to TOI, he said, “The CM’s announcement is ridiculous. Finalizing the schedule is the prerogative of Election Commission of India. Anybody talking about the schedule is uncalled for.”
The caretaker CM, on Thursday, after prematurely dissolving the Telangana Assembly, had told media that there is a possibility of elections being held in November and the results would be declared in December.
CEC Rawat also denied the claims made by KCR that he had held discussions with the CEC and Commissioners. Rawat claimed that he came to know about the Assembly being dissolved only on Thursday evening. He also said that they have sought a report from the State Election Commission on the poll preparedness.
Addressing the media gathering at Delhi, according to Deccan Chronicle, Rawat said, “Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao did not speak with me. It is very unfortunate for a Chief Minister to say this.”
Making it amply clear that announcing election dates was the job of the Election Commissioner, he said that others should not interfere in it.
Taking a dig at the prediction of KCR that the elections would be held in November, he said, “The Assembly election schedule will be decided by the Election Commission and not on the basis of astrology.”
Talking about the possibility of when the Assembly elections would be held in Telangana, he said that they want to conduct the elections at the earliest to avoid the caretaker government taking decisions.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India will be sending a team of ECI officers to Telangana on September 11 to assess the poll preparedness in the state.
The team would be led by senior deputy election commissioner, Umesh Sinha. The team will submit their report after completion of their visit.