The High Court on Thursday recorded the statement of minister for information technology Ponnala Lakshmaiah in connection with an election petition filed by Kommuri Pratap Reddy, who lost the 2009 Assembly election from Jangaon constituency, seeking to declare Ponnala’s election as illegal and to order recounting and scrutiny of all the ballot papers.
The minister appeared as a witness in the case to make his statement before justice R Kantha Rao. During the course of hearing, Ponnala answered various queries posed by the petitioner’s counsel P Kesava Rao.
The petitioner’s counsel said there was no scope for Ponnala Lakshmaiah to win the 2009 election as several irregularities in irrigation projects have been exposed during his tenure as irrigation minister. Even poll surveys had predicted his defeat.
While denying the charges mentioned by the petitioner’s counsel, Ponnala said during his tenure as irrigation minister, allegations of various irregularities in irrigation projects under Jalayagnam programme have been made against the state government, but not against him.
He said he had won the 2009 election by a slender margin of 236 votes as there were 11 opponents in the fray. In 2004 polls, won by over 20,000 votes majority as his party had entered into an electoral alliance with other parties. He claimed he has done no wrong to win the election. The judge adjourned the hearing to Friday.