HYDERABAD: The State Election Commission issuing the GHMC election notification along with the poll schedule has come as a shocker for political parties as well as civic activists. They have charged SEC with “making a mockery of democracy by following directions of the state government”.
Terming announcement of the poll schedule and the time it provides as absurd, prominent civil society members claimed it is blatant misuse of power and provisions of the law, as sufficient time has not been given for even filing and withdrawing nominations.
TPCC election coordination committee chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy said, "How can the SEC ask candidates to file nominations by November 21 when the updated final list of electoral rolls will be published the same day? The Election Commission seems to have no regard for democracy and, I think, it does not believe in free and fair election," Shashidhar Reddy remarked.
He pointed out that voters have been denied their basic right of check their names in the electoral list in several divisions. "Like it happened in the Legislative Assembly polls, the SEC commissioner will once again say sorry for deletion of names from the electoral list. Is there any rationale to cut the election duration from 21 days to 14." the Congress leader asked.
Civic activist M. Padmanabha Reddy pointed out that the city has not yet completely recovered from the Coronavirus or the floods. "The current decision of SEC is unjustified. What is the need for completing the election process 70 days prior to dissolution of the current GHMC body when lakhs of people are still suffering from urban flooding and the corporation is yet to rehabilitate them," he asked.
Padmanabha Reddy questioned the need for reducing the period for filing nominations to three days when usually one week is given. Likewise, only one day has been given for withdrawal of nominations instead of three. "What will 150 sitting corporators and 150 elected corporators do for 70 days period prior to their oath,” he wondered.
Political and civic rights activists said SEC seems to be considering GHMC polls as though they are US presidential elections. “What is the hurry in completing the election process 70 days prior to dissolution of the GHMC council when the city has not seen normalcy from both Coronavirus and floods,” they asked.