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.
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.
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.