HYDERABAD: Hours after the Andhra Police served a notice on T-News on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, NTV on Saturday evening fired back with a broadcast of the transcript of Nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson statement to ACB Court. In the statement, according to the News Channel, Elvis Stephenson has named AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu as the brain behind the cash-for-vote scam. The statement was recorded by the ACB Court.
NTV claimed that it is in possession of Stephenson’s statement with ACB and began airing the same late on Saturday night.
Though there was a calm on Thursday and Friday as both sides observed cessation of hostilities, Saturday witnessed a different atmosphere following AP CID police serving notice on TRS leadership-owned news channel, T News, in Telangana for airing the audio tapes, purported to be a conversation of AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu with nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson.
In the wake of this, Telangana Chief Minister Rao on Saturday held a meeting with Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma. Besides taking stock of the situation following AP CID’s notices to T News, Rao, during the meeting, is learnt to have discussed the next move on the cash-for-vote scam to corner the TDP leadership.
At the same time, Rao’s AP counterpart Naidu too went into a huddle with AP DGP JV Ramudu and intelligence chief Anuradha. During the meeting, Naidu reportedly directed them to intensify the ongoing probe into alleged phone tapping.
Meanwhile, the notice issued to the T News asking it to give reply for “hurting Telugu people’s sentiments by airing controversial programme” within three days, evoked strong condemnation from the management of the channel.
Telangana ministers such as T Harish Rao and Pocharam Srinivas Reddy took strong exception the AP police act. Taking potshots at AP Chief Minister Naidu, Harish Rao said, “No matter how efficient Naidu may be in managing things, he cannot escape the law and will be punished for his wrongdoings.”
On the other hand, TDP leaders aggressively defended the move. Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao said, “Notice was served on the TV channel to know the origin of the audio tape. What is wrong with that?” IT Minister Palle Raghunadha Reddy went further and asked the TV channel to challenge the notice given by AP government. “If the TRS leadership has any guts they should give reply to the notice given by the AP police and reveal the origin of the audio and video tapes aired by the channel,” he thundered.
Trying to calm tempers, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu advised AP Ministers not to make unsavoury remarks against Governor ESL Narasimhan. Venkaiah asked leaders of AP and Telangana to observe restraint.
3 IPS officers involved?
The Andhra Pradesh police have reportedly told that they have enough proof about phone tap. AP DGP JV Ramudu and intelligence chief Anuradha reportedly informed Naidu about the same. It is learnt the AP police officials issued notices to 12 telecom service providers. The AP police officials suspect that three IPS officers were involved in phone tapping.