“Form groups, conduct meetings and make a decision to elect me unanimously and I will give you Rs 5 lakh,” said Yellareddy MLA E Ravinder Reddy during one his recent election campaign. Acknowledging the electoral offence, the state Election Commission directed the District Election Officer to take action against him.
Speaking to TNM, Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said, “We take cognizance of the violation and have directed the DEO to take appropriate action.” The MLA’s ‘promise’ of Rs 5 lakh to the people if they elect him unanimously was caught on camera.
The video of the same went viral, and following media reports, Opposition leaders raised objections and approached the authorities.
Based on the complaint by leaders of the Opposition, the Returning Officer filed a complaint with the SS Nagar police station in Kamareddy district on Wednesday.
“We have filed a case with the police, we haven’t received the FIR copy yet. If the offence is established, the EC will take action against him under relevant sections,” District Joint Collector Yadi Reddy said.
Ravinder Reddy belongs to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Along with him, two other TRS leaders were also caught violating the electoral norms. Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy was seen with Muslims in a mosque, telling them to pledge their support to him. Similarly, Armoor MLA A Jeevan Reddy made devotees at a Ganesha pandal promise their support to him by taking oath in front of the deity. The EC has taken no action against them so far.
The EC has also objected to the saree distribution in the state for the Bathukamma festival, as the Model Code of Conduct came into place after the cabinet was dissolved prematurely—a recent amendment made by the National Election Commission.
The caretaker government led by K Chandrasekhar Rao was going to distribute 95 lakh sarees to the poor, at an expense of Rs 280 crore. However, after the Congress party raised objections, Rajat Kumar said that the caretaker government cannot distribute the sarees as it violates the poll code.