Monday, June 24, 2024

Niranjan expresses concern over postal ballot counting

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Rajya Sabha member Niranjan Reddy’s letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of India has raised concerns over the instructions for postal ballot counting.
MP S Niranjan Reddy has written a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, about the recent instructions regarding the counting of postal ballots for the 2024 general elections.
Attaching the YSR Congress Party representation in the letter, the MP highlighted the instructions, particularly those issued on May 25, regarding the collection of specimen signatures of attesting officers. These instructions seem to contradict earlier guidelines provided by the Election Commission of India.
The MP further emphasised that this contradiction might result in the rejection of valid postal ballots and compromise the integrity of the electoral process. Urgent review and reconsideration of these instructions are requested to align them with the ECI’s established guidelines.
The MP stressed the importance of prompt attention to this matter by the Election Commissioner, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.
On Tuesday, a delegation of YSRCP leaders led by former minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) met the Additional Chief Electoral Officer over the relaxation of norms for postal ballot counting in Andhra Pradesh. Speaking to the media, Perni Nani said the Election Commission, in its latest directive, noted that the Form 13 A postal ballots should not be rejected if they bear the Returning Officer’s signature and are not stamped.
Nani questioned the EC’s directive on postal ballots counting and asked why the poll body has relaxed rules only in the Telugu State.
He said the EC guidelines are clear that the Form 13 A postal ballots should not be considered if it is not clearly signed by the gazetted authority and put an official seal on it.
The YSRCP leader added that the relaxation given by the poll body would lead to clashes. He said due to these guidelines, there would not be any vote secrecy. He demanded that the EC officials reconsider the decision. The Opposition party’s cadre unleashed chaos and launched a series of violent attacks during and after the polls on May 13 in the State, he said. He blamed the EC for not doing much to control the situation. He also demanded that the poll body withdraw its latest directive with immediate effect.

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