By Dr. Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao
Andhra Pradesh which is going to polls for the state assembly along with Lok Sabha elections is witnessing scandalous subversion of democracy much before the poll process began. This subversion is believed to have begun almost three years back as a preparation to retain power using dubious undemocratic practices using the official machinery, official information and also party sponsored data theft. That a three pronged strategy was adopted by the ruling TDP to add bogus votes, to delete voters who are suspected to be not in favour of TDP and then identify and lure the undecided voters through a mass contact and offer of government sponsored social benefits.
All the political observers knew that something is happening to the voters list but none of them have any clue to what is cooking under the direction of ruling TDP. Even the opposition has no chance to breach the secret ways of ruling party as top leaders of that party has safely tucked the data they illegally obtained in the computers of private Hyderabad based IT company whose director is not only a loyal party member but also personal friend of the IT Minister of AP Nara Lokesh. That Nara Lokesh is the son of the chief minister of AP is well known. And when all the dots are joined it can be safely concluded that everything is happening under the direction of IT savvy CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Everything is unusual about the voters list of AP. There is an increase of 1,72,211 votes in the state when compared to 2014 elections and surprisingly in a single constituency of ST reserved Rampachodavaram in East Godavari district there was an increase of 1,04, 475 votes as reported in Enadu, a pro-TDP news paper. Which means the rest of 174 constituencies in the state could see the increase of votes by mere 67,736. Surprise doesn’t end there. The highly attractive urban constituencies of Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati etc saw a collective decline of over 3 lakh voters. Could anyone believe that a remote tribal constituency attracting over one lakh new voters and people moving out of developing cities including the emerging capital area of Amaravathi.
This unusual fluctuation in the number of votes could have gone unnoticed till the election but for the exposure made by a M.P. who has defected from TDP to the YSRCP. He spilled the beans of the behind scene activities of tech savvy TDP and how the voters lists are tampered using the official data by employing private firms. The main opposition party then complained to the Hyderabad city police about a particular IT firm which is providing the IT services to the ruling party of the neighbouring state of AP. Hyderabad police swung into action and raided the IT Grids Company. The key suspect and director of the said firm Ashok, a close confident of AP minister Nara Lokesh, escaped with important hard discs and is now suspected to be hiding in the safety of top political leaders of the ruling party.
As the police raid exposed the nefarious activity of TDP all hell broke out with counter allegation on Telangana government headed by KCR. TDP accused KCR of helping the YSRCP and Jagan in defeating Chandrababu Naidu. Despite Chandrababu Naidu’s attempt to turn the data theft case into a political one the reactions of the party and its leaders further strengthened the suspicion on father son duo and the party which they are leading.
(Read all the details about the Data Theft and the way Andhra politics is revolving around it in the next issue)