Election Commission gives clean chit to YSR

Hyderabad, April 22: The Election Commission has given clean chit to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for his remarks on separate state of Telanagana.
The poll panel found nothing objectionable in the chief minister’s speech at Nandyal in Kurnool district, state’s chief electoral officer I.V. Subba Rao told reporters here Tuesday.

The four-party Grand Alliance led by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had complained to the Election Commission that the chief minister was trying to create animosities among people by inciting one region against the other.

The alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had sought strong action against YSR – as the chief minister is popularly known as by his initials.

Immediately after the first phase of polling in Telangana and north coastal Andhra April 16, the chief minister had told a public meeting that people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions would become foreigners in separate state of Telangana.

Cautioning people against voting for the TDP-led alliance, YSR had also said that in the event of formation of a separate state, the people of other regions would have to shut their businesses and educational institutions.

The chief minister, however, had defended his remarks saying he was repeating what Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao had once said.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has sought more information from officials about the ruling Congress complaint that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu violated election code of conduct by opening bank accounts for voters to transfer cash if the TDP came to power.

The TDP has promised Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000 for every poor and middle-class family under the cash transfer scheme.

Senior Congress leader and Finance Minister K. Rosaiah Tuesday submitted another memorandum to the chief electoral officer, complaining that the TDP was luring the voters by opening bank accounts and showing them dummy ATM cards.

In another development, the Election Commission has refused to take action against Hyderabad MP and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi for his remarks on state police chief A.K. Mohanty. The poll panel said it would not intervene in the matter.

Owaisi had remarked that the director general of police was partial during the polling in Hyderabad in the first phase April 16. He also challenged Mohanty to shed his uniform and face him in the election.