The Election Commission (EC) issued a notice to Telangana's Energy Minister Jagadish Reddy on 28 October for allegedly threatening voters, saying all welfare schemes will be stopped if they do not vote for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) candidate in the upcoming Munugode bypoll.
The poll panel has given Reddy time till 3 pm on Saturday (29 October) to explain his stand or else, it will take a decision without any reference to him.
Citing a complaint submitted by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, the notice quotes the English translation of the Minister's speech.
Reddy said, 'The election is not between Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy and Rajgopal Reddy, it is the election for whether to continue the pension of Rs 2,000 or not, it is for whether to continue Rythu Bandhu or not, whether to continue free 24-hour electricity or not....'
'.... If anyone is not interested in pension, he can vote for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, if anyone wants schemes, vote for KCR (Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao).'
The notice said the speech delivered by Reddy on 25 October is prima facie violative of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, which states that all political parties and candidates shall scrupulously avoid all activities that are 'corrupt practices and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters....'
The bypoll is scheduled to be held on 3 November.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.