The Telangana Rashtra Samithi is forcing the people to go in for unanimous election of sarpanches and ward members in the ongoing gram panchayat elections in the state.
The elections are being held in three phases – January 21, 25 and 30. The nomination process for the first phase came to an end on Wednesday.
There have been reports of unanimous elections being held in several villages for the sarpanch posts, apparently under pressure from the TRS.
The Telangana Election Watch on Thursday cautioned the State Election Commission against the perils of forced unanimous elections happening in the State at the behest of certain organisations such as village development committees, caste welfare associations etc.
The organization alleged that open auctions are being conducted and highest bidders are declared as the only candidates to file nominations.
Telangana Election Watch State Coordinators M. Padmanabha Reddy, Chelikani Rao and others met State Election Commissioner V. Nagi Reddy and informed him that the practice was likely to continue even till the last date of withdrawal.
They have requested the Election Commission to withhold the declaration of unanimous election in all such cases and severe action to be taken against the culprits, including prosecution under India Penal Code and Panchayat Raj Act.
In this regard, they also promised to furnish the information to Returning Officers, Election Officers, District Collectors and District Election authorities and the Election Observers of the State Election Commission.