TDP, YSRC take their fight to EC, accuse each other of breaching election code 

Both the TDP and the YSRC on Friday lodged complaints against each other with the Election Commission. 

VIJAYAWADA: Both the TDP and the YSRC on Friday lodged complaints against each other with the Election Commission. The ruling party not only shot off missives to the Chief Election Commissioner, but two of its MPs — Kesineni Srinivas and Konakalla Narayana — also met additional Chief Electoral Officer Anoop Singh to submit representations complaining that the YSRC was violating the poll code. 
In the letter to the commissioner, the yellow party alleged that YSRC candidate Silpa Mohan Reddy was distributing money to voters while campaigning for the Nandyal byelection. It claimed that Silpa and his followers were handing out slips that could be exchanged for money at the Silpa Cooperative Organisation. The amount is being deposited in the accounts of voters, the TDP claimed. 

The TDP MPs spoke to the Additional CEO about a Telugu vernacular managed by YSRC leaders that allegedly printed paid articles against the ruling party. The complainants alleged the paper falsely accused the TDP of distributing money to voters and requested that the Election Commission treat the articles as paid news, calculate the amount incurred and include it in the election expenditure of the YSRC candidate. The party also sought action against the daily and satellite channel associated with the main Opposition party. 

They also appealed to the EC to take action against YSRC MLA G Srikanth Reddy who allegedly threatened police for arresting party workers who distributed money to voters in Nandyal. Returning the favour, YSRC general secretary Sivakumar lodged a complaint against the ruling party with the additional CEO saying its MLA, Balakrishna, was distributing money to voters.

The party claimed that the DSP posted in Nandyal was acting in favour of the TDP and hence must be removed. “Ruling party is misusing its power and ensuring that police only target the lodges and places where YSRC activists and sympathisers are staying. Police are confiscating the money our party’s supporters carried for their daily expenditure and claiming it to be bribes,” YSRC leader and Dhone MLA Buggana Rajendranath Reddy told TNIE.    

51 taken into police custody for distributing money among voters
Even as the August 23 D-Day for the Nandyal byelection is fast approaching, inducement of voters seems to be in full swing. Police on Friday took into custody 51 people and seized H12 lakh cash from them, which the cops suspect was to meant to be distributed among voters to influence their decision while exercising franchise.

This is by far the largest seizure of cash in the highly sensitive Nandyal constituency where the stakes are very high for both the ruling and the opposition party. Nandyal DSP G Gopala Krishna said the 51 were in taken into custody on charges of bribing voters at five different places including Gandhinagar and Ayyalurumetta in the urban and rural areas in the constituency on Friday.  Of the detained, five belong to the TDP and 46 to the YSRC, the DSP said. The police, however, did not reveal their names.

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