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EC Seeks Day-to-day Update on Cash-for-vote Case


Election commission of India(ECI) is keen on knowing the progress of investigation into the cash-for-vote scam that is rocking the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana following the arrest of TDP MLA Revanth Reddy.

The commission has reportedly instructed Banwarlal, the Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra and Telangana, to keep it posted with the progress of the investigation on day-to-day basis.

The commission is taking the case as a model one as it is for the first time that an MLA was arrested while offering money to another MLA to influence his voting and a chief minister of another state is involved. Even though cash-for-vote scams are not uncommon, catching the MLA red-handed has never happened in history of Independent India, said a senior functionary with the ECI.

“This is going to be a model case for us. We are closely watching the case and its investigation. Everything depends on the outcome of the ACB court,” the functionary told Telugu360.com.

The election commission has filed petition in the court urging it to provide information regarding the cash-for-vote scam.

However, ACB denied it stating that it could part with information only after court decides on the case.

Regarding the disqualification of the MLAs involved in the crimes, the EC sources said, ” the  disqualification is made automatic after the court conviction. A  2013 Supreme Court judgment made the disqualification automatic after conviction of the MLA by the court,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, the commission directed the district collectors and respective political parties ensure that all MPTC ( Mandal Parishat Territorial Constituency) member from leaving district without permission in the run up to the Election to the Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh. Commission also asked the collectors to keep watch on the activities of political parties in order prevent holding of MPTCs in camps. The commission informed the parties that the expenditure incurred in running the camps would be added to the election expenditure and initiate steps to disqualify the members if it is found exceeding the limits.

Election commission issued these instructions following the complaints from YSR Congress against TDP’s attempts to buy it MPTC members with money in Prakasham and Nellore districts. YSRC alleged that TDP was buying the MPTCs by offering upto Rs 3 lakh per vote in the on going Legislative Council election. The polling is scheduled on July 3, 2015





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EC to Crack Whip Against TDP?


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a major jolt to Telugu Desam Party, the Election Commission of India shifted its focus to the ongoing infamous cash-for-vote scam. EC on Thursday filed a memo in the ACB Court in Hyderabad seeking duplicate copy of the report submitted by FSL.

It may be noted that FSL on Wednesday submitted a preliminary report on the audio that’s alleged to be of Chandrababu Naidu. If ascertained that the voice is that of Chandrababu Naidu, TDP supremo might have to face legal consequences. It has to be mentioned here that cash-for-vote scam came to light when ACB sleuths apprehended TDP MLA Revant Reddy. The same night, media released the footage of the sting operation that showed Revant Reddy promising five crore rupees to nominated MLA to Telangana assembly, Stephenson, in case he votes for TDP candidate in MLC elections.

Days after that sting operation went viral, vernacular media aired the audio tapes that allegedly contained conversation between Chandrababu and Stephenson. While TDP said that the audio was fabricated and also said that the phones were tapped, Telangana Government stressed that telephone lines were not fabricated.  Now that Election Commission has also plunged into this activity, it might take an action against Chandrababu Naidu only if it’s proved that the voice in the audio is that of Chandrababu. The experts said that the action could be banning the political party or its supremo from contesting elections and exercising his vote.

Notably, Election Commission earlier took such strong decisions and Shiv Sena’s Bal Thackeray can be cited as an example as he was banned from exercising his vote for a period of six years for proving guilty in a communal violence case. How and when Election Commission is going to crack its whip against TDP has now become the talk of the town.

(Phani B)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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