The Election Commission on Friday stated that it had come to the conclusion that the derogatory comments on the commission without verifying the facts amounted to a deliberate attempt to gain popularity by showing constitutional institutions such as the Election Commission of India in poor light. It also expressed its severe displeasure over the conduct of the Andhra Pradesh government and some of its ministers for making several announcements in violation of the model code of conduct ahead of the by polls in the state.
The commission expressed strong displeasure at the unwarranted and derogatory remarks made by the agriculture minister, N. Raghuveera Reddy, on May 8.
The commission censured him. Further, the Andhra Pradesh chief secretary, who was summoned by the poll panel, was asked to tender a written apology for various violations of the model code of conduct by a few ministers who announced sops in the run-up to the by-elections scheduled for May 29. The chief secretary had already tendered an oral apology for the same.
The commission said it was not convinced by the justification and explanations as the underlying object of making these announcements was apparent: that the state government wanted to woo and influence voters in favour of the ruling party in connection with the ongoing by polls in the state.
The Election Commission said that though the government orders giving effect to the aforesaid announcements made by the ministers had not been issued, the political mileage which the party in power sought to derive had already been achieved as these announcements were in the nature of promises to the electorate of the benefits which the state government intends to confer on them.