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Prakash Raj alleges misuse of postal ballot, Vishnu Manchu retorts

Nothing short of a suspense thriller has gripped the Movie Artist Association (MAA) election in the last few weeks.

Published: 06th October 2021 10:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2021 10:44 AM   |  A+A-

Prakashraj . (ENS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Nothing short of a suspense thriller has gripped the Movie Artist Association (MAA) election in the last few weeks. The association, which has been neck-deep in controversies owing to bitter election campaigns and rivalry between two groups, has courted a fresh round of controversy after Prakash Raj accused Vishnu Manchu of electoral malpractices.

On Tuesday, Prakash Raj, along with Jeevitha Rajasekhar, Srikanth and other members of his panel, met the Election Officer at the MAA office and accused Vishnu of using his money power to gain absolute majority through postal ballot. In his complaint to the Election Officer, Prakash Raj alleged that Vishnu and his panel are misusing the postal ballots in the election to be held on October 10.

“The elderly actors who are aged above 60 are eligible to cast their vote through postal ballot. Vishnu Manchu along with his agents is plotting a conspiracy against the use of postal ballots and is collecting the signatures of the elderly actors. On Monday evening, a person belonging to Vishnu has paid Rs 28,000 on behalf of 56 members, including Krishna, Krishnam Raju, Sharada, Sarath Babu and Paruchuri Brothers, among others, as postal ballot expenses. How can we conduct the election with strangers? Are you going to win by influencing the voters through postal ballots? How can you stoop to this level?,” quipped Prakash Raj, adding, “I request our senior members Krishnam Raju, Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna to respond on the issue.”

Refuting Prakash Raj’s remarks, Vishnu Manchu said, “Prakash Raj has been magnifying everything as a big issue. I don’t understand why he is blaming us for everything and creating a toxic environment. Instead of speaking to the media and creating drama, he could have spoken to us in a closed-door meeting and the Election Officer would have cleared his doubts.”

He continues, “Prakash Raj is shedding crocodile tears and he is a big actor in real life too. His allegations are baseless and we never influenced anyone whatsoever. It seems he has decided to divide the association into two groups. He is talking like Aparichitudu. It’s unfortunate that he is involving Krishna garu and Krishnamraju garu in this matter.”

Clarifying the postal ballot issue, Vishnu explained, “There are about 190 members in MAA who are aged above 60. As a contestant, I have called everyone and asked if they needed a postal ballot or they walk in and vote on the election day. Due to the pandemic, about 60 members have decided to cast their vote through postal ballot. While they were confused with the postal ballot format, I have offered them help. I never violated the election code, but my only concern is to ensure cent percent polling.”

Vishnu has urged the election committee of MAA to revert to paper ballots. “My panel wanted to go for paper ballot voting because they believe that it claims legitimacy and ensures a fair election, which EVMs don’t. So we have requested the election committee to opt for paper ballot voting.”

Vishnu said he felt hurt at families being dragged into the matters. “I dare you (Prakash Raj) to not involve any of my family members...be it my siblings, parents and wife and kids...into the election debate. Please maintain some decorum. You can take my name, but don’t go after my (Manchu) family. You will lose respect if you drag my family members in the election matters. I also urge everyone to respect our seniors and maintain peace because we are a family.”



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