A team of the Election Commission of India (EC) on Tuesday met top officials and leaders of political parties in Telangana as part of its exercise to assess the preparedness for conduct of Assembly elections in the state.
The team led by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha held separate meetings with the officials and representatives of recognised political parties.
The EC team had a meeting with officials from various departments. State’s Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumat, senior officials from police, revenue and other departments attended the meeting.
Earlier, the EC officials elicited view of the political parties during separate meetings with them.
The team will submit its report to the Commission and based on this a decision will be taken on poll dates.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrshekhar Rao on September 6 dissolved the Assembly to pave way for early elections. The polls are likely to be held in November.
During the meetings with the visiting team, leaders of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and its friendly party Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) sought early conduct of elections.
TRS leader Vinod Kumar said the polls should be held as early as possible. MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi suggested that the elections in Telangana be held in single phase and before the polls in four other states scheduled in December.
The opposition parties, however, opposed the conduct of polls in a hurry. They raised the issue of missing names from the voters’ list.
Congress leader M. Sashidhar Reddy wondered how Chief Minister K. Chandrshekhar Rao could announce the poll schedule. He urged the Commission to take a serious view of this.
The Congress leader also alleged that names of lakhs of voters were deleted. He said the polls should be conducted only after a thorough revision of electoral rolls.
The representatives of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also said the time given for revision of electoral rolls under the revised schedule is not sufficient to complete the process. They alleged that Chandrashekhar Rao was crossing his limits as caretaker Chief Minister.
BJP leaders also demanded that revision of electoral rolls should be extended for another 15 days in view of the Ganesh festival.