Hyderabad: Ahead of the by-election to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies scheduled for Sunday, Telugu Desam Party has expressed serious displeasure over the steps taken by the Election Commission to
curb alleged `electoral malpractices` committed by Jagan Mohan Reddy and his followers.
YSR Congress president Jagan is the candidate for the Kadapa seat.
In a petition faxed to Chief Election Commissioner this evening, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the official machinery has remained mute spectator even as the electoral laws were being flagrantly violated.
"The by-elections are witnessing unprecedented money and muscle power to influence voters and the preventive steps taken by authorities have failed to check them. The sum of Rs 3 crore seized by authorities in different raids is meagre
compared to the money distributed. While small leaders were given Scorpio vehicles, voters are being paid Rs 500 to Rs 5000 each," Chandrababu pointed out.
There was gross failure on the law and order front as opposition leaders were openly attacked and faction murders had taken place ahead of the election, he said.
"I strongly believe the Election Commission can raise to the occasion and act firmly in dealing with electoral malpractices and strict enforcement of law and order," Chandrababu said.
The petition said the failure to maintain law and order in Kadapa was "very disappointing."
"Opposition leaders were attacked by YS Jagan`s followers while he himself issued threatening statements. But no serious action has been taken so far," it said.
The preventive measures by authorities to curb money power remained mere tokenism, the petition said.
The TDP has also submitted video evidence showing Jagan`s supporters distributing money to voters in Proddutur segment.
"It is expected that on the polling day, violation of electoral laws will be many and violence and booth-capturing are not ruled out in hundreds of villages going by the past record," the TDP apprehended.
"Both Jagan and the ruling Congress have made a mockery of democracy in the by-election. Both parties have distributed over Rs 300 crore in Kadapa parliamentary segment," the TDP leaders later told newsmen.
Meanwhile, state Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal said the entire polling process would be webcast to effectively check malpractices.
Polling staff who indulge in malpractices would be sent to jail for six months, he warned.