[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he cash-for-vote scam seems to be a never ending topic especially on television channels. Barely a day after Andhra Pradesh police served notices on T News for allegedly telecasting AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s alleged conversation with nominated MLA to Telangana assembly, Elvis Stephenson, a vernacular news channel claimed that it got the statement of Stephenson, which was recorded before a magistrate at Nampally Court in Hyderabad.
[pullquote position=”left”] In his statement to the court, Stephenson reportedly said that Chandrababu Naidu was the kingpin of the entire cash-for-vote scam.[/pullquote]
In his statement to the court, Stephenson reportedly said that Chandrababu Naidu was the kingpin of the entire cash-for-vote scam. He said that Mathaiah (one of the accused in the scam) visited Stephenson’s residence on May 28 and offered him a sum of two crore rupees besides an air travel ticket in case he accepts to refrain from MLC elections under MLA quota .
On May 29, Stephenson said that he wanted to deal with the key person in this episode after which he was told it was TDP MLA Revanth Reddy who handled it. It was then Stephenson approached the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and DGP of Telangana state and gave a written complaint over the same.
On May 30, another two accused in the scam—Sebastian and Antony visited Stephenson’s residence while the former told Stephenson that he was sent by Chandrababu Naidu. Later in the noon 12, Revanth Reddy visited Stephenson’s residence. Stephenson informed the same to ACB, who installed cameras at nominated MLA’s residence.[dropcap][/dropcap]
On May 31, Sebastian telephoned Stephenson and said he wanted to visit him along with Revanth Reddy, however, at a different location. Accordingly, Stephenson arranged for the meeting at his friend’s (Malcolm Taylor) place and also informed the same to ACB who installed cameras-this time- at Taylor’s residence. Later, in the evening Revanth Reddy and Sebastian visited Taylor’s residence with a bag that contained 50 lakh rupees. It is known that the sting operation was later released to the media by unknown sources.
Notably, Stephenson even told the magistrate the person who connected him to Chandrababu Naidu was Harry Sebastian.
The experts said that this statement of Stephenson will apparently considered as a key evidence. Let us wait and watch when and how curtains will be drawn on this infamous cash-for-vote scam.