TDP seeks protection for its candidates in local body polls


Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday demanded the State Election Commissioner (SEC) to provide security to its candidates filing nominations for local body polls after a TDP candidate was attacked in Kuppam.

The former chief minister alleged that TDP candidate V. Venkatesh was attacked when he was filing nomination for polls to Kuppam municipality.

In a letter to SEC Neelam Sawhney, Naidu said it came to his notice that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) goons attacked V. Venkatesh, who is the TDP candidate for the 14th ward in Kuppam municipality.

Kuppam in Chittoor district is the Assembly constituency represented by Chandrababu Naidu.

The TDP chief said YSRCP leader Muniswamy and his henchmen attacked Venkatesh to prevent him from filing nomination.

Naidu told the SEC that over 25 to 30 goondas waylaid and assulted Venkatesh when he approached the nomination centre set up at MFC Junior College in Kuppam. The goons rained blows on Venkatesh and snatched away his nomination papers, tore them and then destroyed them. They also took away his cell phone.

Naidu said the attack was serious and an injured Venkatesh was thrown on the roadside, outside the nomination centre. When some of the followers of Dr Venkatesh tried to intervene, the miscreants tried to attack them. Finally, the attackers fled the scene leaving him in an unconscious state.

The TDP chief attached two photographs of Venkatesh with bleeding injury on his elbow.

Naidu demanded the SEC to provide security to candidates aspiring to contest in the present elections as directed recently by the Election Commission. He urged the poll panel to take immediate action against the culprits and also provide immediate protection to all the candidates intending to file nominations.

He also sought deployment of additional police force to ensure smooth, free and fair conduct of elections.

The SEC on Monday announced elections to local bodies, where polls were not conducted earlier for various reasons, including the death of contesting candidates.

The elections will be conducted for panchayats on November 14, municipalities on November 15 and ZPTC and MPTCs on November 16.

The elections are being held for 69 sarpanches and 533 ward members in 498 Gram Panchayats, 12 municipalities and the Nellore Municipal Corporation.

The municipalities that are going to polls include Akiveedu, Jaggayyapet, Kondapalli, Dachepalli, Gurazala, Darsi, Buchireddypalem, Kuppam, Bethamcherla, Kamalapuram, Rajampet and Penukonda.