In what could spell trouble for the Congress, the video of an aide of former Telangana Congress MLA SA Sampath Kumar seemingly offering a Rs 5 lakh bribe in exchange for votes has gone viral.
The incident reportedly took place at Sankapur village in Alampur constituency in Jogulamba Gadwal district.
“People who vote for Congress will vote for us and people who vote for TRS will vote for them but now you have been promised Rs 5 lakh. We will arrange for it and definitely ensure that you get the money,” says the man, identified as Congress party mandal president Doddappa, as he assures locals that he is a well-known face in the village.
Doddappa also asks people to convince at least 100 people to sign an undertaking that they will vote for the Congress and said that the money would be deposited in the village temple’s account.
“If you convince the entire village to vote for Congress, ensuring Rs 5 lakh will be my responsibility. I’m giving you my word. There is no need to ask Sampath. As a mandal president, I know everyone by name and face,” he adds.
Watch the video below.
Taking note of the incident on Twitter, the handle of the Jogulamba Gadwal Collector said, “This complaint is being taken up for enquiry immediately. Please share more specific details if you have any in this regard. Can send across video/audio clips too. A written complaint will help the enquiry. We thank you for the information.”
Later in the evening, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) also took up the issue and filed a formal complaint against Sampath Kumar with the Election Commission.
Speaking to reporters, TRS MLC Srinivas Reddy alleged that Sampath Kumar was present at the event and said that it was an utter violation of the Code of Conduct and accused the Congress of resorting to such tactics to get votes. He also demanded strong action against the former Congress MLA.
Following the complaint, the EC took note of the incident and sought a report from the concerned District Electoral Officer. The EC said that necessary action would be taken after the report was filed, within a matter of days.
Elections in Telangana are scheduled to be held on December 7 after Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the state Legislative Assembly on September 6. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.