The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana, Rajat Kumar, on Saturday said that money and mafia were playing a vital role in elections these days. This is so, because voters were not playing their role, he added. Rajat Kumar was speaking at a Voters’ Awareness Programme at Exhibition Grounds on Saturday, organised by the Economic Committee of the Exhibition Society and the Osmania Graduates’ Association.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the CEO pointed out that even with a week to go before the polling, cash seized till now had gone up to Rs 104 crore which was Rs 28 crore higher than the overall amount seized during the full period of the last elections which had covered the united state of Andhra Pradesh.
“If any one offers cash, refuse it outright. “From our side, we are working hard to control the role of money and mafia,” Rajat appealed to voters.
“While voting, please go by policies and promises of parties/candidates instead of merely personalities and parochial and narrow lines. Swelling in voters’ turnout would force the politicians to think about what people want--better security, transportation, and other facilities. That is how voting assumes paramount importance in a democracy. If you want your voice heard, you should vote,” he added.
He lamented that a sizeable chunk of the educated and urban voters were not going to the booths, and said that they were letting democracy down. He also pointed out that in rural areas, the voting was reaching 80 to 90 percent.
“One could also opt for NOTA (None of the Above) and if the number of NOTA votes increases, the winning candidates should feel ashamed. If India is known outside, it is for its democracy. The Election Commission enjoys a very good reputation all over the world. Our EVMs and VVPATs are acclaimed high all over the globe, because of the protocols and legal framework they were placed in,” Rajat said.
“The Commission wants political parties to submit their manifestoes with a declaration that the promises made by them would do good to society. They were required to furnish information about the source of the money to implement their promises. Candidates, on the other hand, were asked to furnish details about their criminal antecedents and publish the same in newspapers thrice in big-sized letters,” he added.
Telangana will go to the polls on December 7 and counting will place on December 11.
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