EC orders CID to take action against YSRCP social media team following TDP complaint

TDP alleged that the YSRCP violated MCC through recorded calls blaming Naidu for being responsible for causing deaths of people who died due to heat while collecting pensions.
TDP chief Naidu
TDP chief Naidu
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The Election Commission Office of Andhra Pradesh has ordered the Crime Investigation Department (CID) to take action against YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) social media team for a ‘malicious campaign’ against opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu. The order was issued after Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lodged a complaint with the ECI against YSRCP social media team alleging that Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) calls were made accusing Naidu of causing deaths of people who died due to heat while collecting pensions.  

On May 4, TDP politburo member Varla Ramaiah wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer, Mukesh Kumar Meena, alleging that the social media team of the ruling YSRCP led by Sajjala Bhargava Reddy made IVRS calls to voters spreading false information. In his complaint, the TDP leader said that the recorded calls blamed Naidu for beneficiaries not being able to receive pensions at their doorstep and that Naidu was responsible for causing deaths of people who died due to heat while collecting pensions. He added that Naidu had sent several representations to the government to disburse pensions at the door steps and said, “YSRCP has deliberately blamed TDP chief Naidu for misleading voters and promoting enmity between two groups through false information.”

He requested the CEO to take action against Sajjala Bhargav Reddy claiming that he violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Following the complaint, the CEO on Sunday directed the Additional Director General Cyber cell department under the CID at Mangalagiri to act as per the Election Commission of India (ECI) guidelines and laws. It further ordered them to furnish an action report immediately. 

The TDP and YSRCP have been at loggerheads ever since the ECI has ordered the state to keep village/ward volunteers away from distributing cash to beneficiaries of various schemes at their doorstep. The order was issued on March 30 after the High Court disposed of a writ petition on the alleged involvement of volunteers in influencing the voters. The state government was forced to find an alternative disbursement method and directed the village/ward secretariat staff to disburse pensions at their offices, while doorstep delivery was mandatory to vulnerable groups.

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