AP minister faces EC wrath over poll affidavit goof-up



Hyderabad: The Election Commission on Monday directed the Krishna district Collector and Election Officer to register a case against Andhra Pradesh secondary education minister K Parthasarathy for filing an "inaccurate affidavit" during the 2009 Assembly elections concealing the fact that he was chargesheeted in a FERA violation case.

The minister was last week convicted in the case and awarded a two-month jail term, besides a fine of Rs 5.25 lakh, in the FERA violation case filed against him in 1999 when he was Managing Director of KPR Tele Products.

Parthasarathy refused to step down from his post even as Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy turned down the opposition demand for dismissal of the convicted minister. The Election Commission, however, is all set to nail the minister for suppressing facts while filing the affidavit.

Parthasarathy had left the relevant column -- where he was supposed to mention the FERA case -- in the sworn affidavit blank in 2004 and in 2009 he mentioned 'nil' and 'not applicable' in the same columns, official sources said.

As per election laws, this is a cognisable offence and could attract a jail term of up to six months besides penalty, they said.

Retired IAS officer EAS Sarma filed a complaint with the EC here against Parthasarathy pointing to the suppression of facts in the affidavit in 2009.

Acting on the complaint, state Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal directed the Krishna district Collector to get a case registered against the minister.

The then Returning Officer of Penamaluru Assembly constituency, from where Parthasarathy contested and won in 2009, will now file the case and conduct necessary proceedings against the latter, official sources said.

PTI