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TDP cries foul ahead of by-poll, alleges malpractices by Jagan

Last Updated: Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 21:44

Hyderabad: Ahead of polling for the by-election
to Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies in
Andhra Pradesh scheduled for Saturday, 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.


First Published: Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 21:44

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