Friday, 17 April 2009

Fear of cross voting haunts Mahakutami

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 16: The fear of cross voting and confusion over electoral symbols now haunts all major political parties in the State. Reports gathered from party sources by the Congress, the Telugu Desam, the TRS and the Praja Rajyam on the voting pattern in 154 Assembly and 22 Lok Sabha constituencies indicate
largescale cross voting in many districts.

Last minute alliance between the Telugu Desam and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has created confusion among voters over the electoral symbol. Both the TRS and the Telugu Desam fielded candidates in several constituencies despite electoral alliances. In these places the symbols of both the parties, car (TRS) and cycle
(TD) were printed on electronic voting machines.

In Secunderabad Parliamentary constituency both the TD and the TRS candidates are in fray "officially", though both are part of the Mahakutami or political grand alliance. Voters who wanted to support Mahakutami were confronted by car and cycle symbols, making it difficult for them to choose between the two. Same was the case in Maheshwaram Assembly segment. In Karwan, both Telugu Desam and CPM, which is also part of the grand alliance, are in the fray, and thus their electoral symbols.

Since State Assembly and Parliament elections are held simultaneously, political parties fear that voters might have supported different candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha seats.

Reports from Warangal indicate that it was a herculean task for the Mahakutami members a couple of days before the polling to explain the voters about casting a vote to the TRS in Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha and CPI candidate in Mahabubabad (ST) Lok Sabha seats. In many places it resulted in a lot of confusion.

In Palakurthy constituency, many TD supporters cast their votes thinking that they were voting for the TD candidate Mr Errabelli Dayakar Rao. But as the first EVM was that of the Lok Sabha candidate, they inadvertently voted for the TD's rebel Lok Sabha candidate, Mr Dommati Sambaiah, who got the cycle symbol.

And later most of them voted for the Congress nominee thinking that they were voting for the Lok Sabha candidate. But it was the Assembly candidate, Mr Dugyala Srinivasa Rao, who they voted for.

Similar confusion was witnessed in Station Ghanpur constituency where the TD's candidate, Mr Kadiam Srihari, is contesting against the Congress nominee, Mr T Rajaiah.

In many places, the presence of the TD rebel candidates with the party's official symbol for the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly resulted in lot of confusion among the cadres of the TD and the TRS. The Congress too faced the same problem. Congress leadership feels that in several constituencies voters who supported for
its Assembly candidates did not vote for its Parliamentary candidate, and vice versa.

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