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EC notice to Telangana Minister over ‘vote to continue welfare schemes’ speech

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On Friday, the Election Commission issued a notice to Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy for allegedly breaching the Model Code of Conduct. The violation pertains to Reddy’s statement in the Munugode Assembly seat, urging voters to support Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for the continuation of welfare schemes or back Prime Minister Narendra Modi if they preferred otherwise.

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The Election Commission instructed Reddy to provide an explanation for his statement by 3 pm on Saturday in response to the notice. The Commission’s action followed a complaint from BJP leader Kapilavai Dileep Kumar, who asserted that Reddy, in a speech on Tuesday, had implied that welfare schemes would cease if voters did not choose the TRS candidate in the November 3 by-poll.

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The Election Commission, referring to a transcript provided by the District Election Officer, highlighted Reddy’s statement that the electoral contest was not merely between TRS and BJP candidates but a choice regarding the continuity of pension and free electricity schemes. Reddy was quoted as saying, “If anyone is not interested in pension, they can vote for Modi; if anyone wants schemes, vote for KCR.”

The Election Commission contended that such a statement violated the Model Code of Conduct’s provision against the use of corrupt practices.