With voters in Andhra's Nandyal constituency going to the polls in a matter of days, both the TDP and the YSRCP approached the Election Commission (EC) on Friday, and filed complaints accusing each other of violating the poll code.
TDP MPs Kesineni Srinivas and Konakalla Narayan met additional Chief Electoral Officer Anoop Singh in Hyderabad, and filed a complaint against YSRCP candidate Silpa Mohan Reddy, and media outlet 'Sakshi'.
In a letter submitted to the EC official, the MPs alleged that Sakshi, which is owned and managed by YSRCP leaders, was printing paid articles in its newspaper against the TDP, accusing it of distributing money.
They also registered their protest against the content being aired on Sakshi TV.
They also claimed that persons and vehicles belonging to the media house were being used to transport money, for distribution among voters.
The letter also claimed that Silpa Mohan Reddy was distributing money to voters, in the form of 'slips', that could be exchanged for money at the Silpa Cooperative Organisation, The New Indian Express reported.
Meanwhile, the YSRCP filed a complaint with the Returning Officer for the Nandyal bye-poll against Hindupur TDP MLA and actor Nandamuri Balakrishna.
Balakrishna is at the centre of a controversy after footage showed him â€˜distributingâ€™ money to locals, while campaigning for the bye-election. Minister Akila Priya, TDP MLA candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy and Mounika Nagi Reddy were present by his side.
Speaking to The Hindu, PAC chairman and YSRCP MLA, Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, said that the party demanded action against Balakrishna, based on video evidence, for distributing money during the campaign.
The YSRCP also alleged that the TDP was using â€˜Community Resource Personsâ€™ attached to Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and threatened women and their families to vote for the TDP, "failing which the SHG groups concerned wouldn't be refinanced", The Hindu report adds.
Meanwhile, campaigning is expected to continue in the constituency on Saturday, with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu all set to campaign for TDP candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy.
The bye-election in Nandyal is necessitated by the death of the sitting legislator Bhuma Nagi Reddy, one of those who defected to the TDP. His daughter Akhila Priya, who too won as a YSRCP candidate from Allagadda constituency in the same district, is now a Cabinet Minister.
Both the parties have made the bye-election a prestige issue, as it is being seen as a referendum on the three-year rule of the TDP. It is also expected to indicate which way the winds are blowing in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
The Election Commission said that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) will be used in the bye-elections in all the polling stations.