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Andhra Congress chief replies to EC notice

Andhra Congress chief replies to EC notice

EC had sought APCC chief's response to the notice by 1700 hrs IST Saturday.

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President D Srinivas on Saturday sent his reply over the notice issued to him by Election Commission for allegedly violating the poll code by making objectionable comments at an election meeting.

"He (Srinivas) has sent his reply to the Election Commission. They will examine and take a decision," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) IV Subba Rao said.

The Commission had sought the APCC chief's response to the notice by 1700 hrs IST Saturday.

The EC has acted on the basis of a complaint from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which said the "statement of APCC President in Nizamabad that he would sever the hands of those who point a finger at minorities is highly objectionable and meant to hurt the religious sentiments of the majority community."

"The statement, the time and place are chosen to play vote bank politics by provoking minorities against majority community," the complaint said.

Meanwhile, the CEO said 3,11,46,566 voters and 2,66,19,167 voters would exercise their franchise in the first and second phase of polling to be held on April 16 and 23 respectively. While 22 Lok Sabha seats and 154 Assembly segments would go to the polls in the first phase, 20 parliamentary seats and 140 Assembly seats would go to the polls in the second phase.

There are a total 66,551 polling stations--36,124 in the first phase and 30,427 in the second phase, Rao said.

As many as 1,33,827 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) --72,973 for first phase and 60,854 for second phase -- would be used this time.

The total number of policemen to be used are --1,18,976. For first phase the number of policemen to be on duty is 60,947 and for second phase is 58,209.

The Central Para Military Force and Andhra Pradesh Special Police personnel used are 123.2 companies for first phase and 85 companies for second phase, the CEO said.

For the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, 569 candidates are in the fray, while 3,656 nominees are in the reckoning for 294 Assembly seats, he said.

The CEO said the television channels should not telecast any "political matter" 48 hours before the polling (from 1600 hrs IST on April 14) that influences voters.

The Election Commission would hold a video conference with state CEOs on Sunday.

As part of the drive to enforce poll code, Rs 46.58 lakh was seized on Friday, the CEO added.