Parties allege cash distribution by rivals; cash seized so far mounts to Rs 9 crore

Campaigning for the by-elections came to a close at 5 p.m. on Friday amid serious complaints by parties against cash distribution.

Polling will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday in the seven constituencies of Adilabad, Kamareddy, Mahabubnagar, Kollapur, Nagarkurnool, Station Ghanpur, and Kovur.

Complaint to CEO

In a complaint to Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal, film actor Vijaychander, representing the YSR Congress Party, alleged that a Congress leader, Venku Reddy, had taken bundles of currency notes to Kothur centre in Indukurpet mandal in Kovur constituency and distributed Rs 1,000 notes to voters. In support, he furnished a copy of a newspaper clipping showing the Congress leader distributing the notes.

On the other hand, Congress leaders led by APCC general secretary G. Rudra Raju, complained to the CEO that some TDP leaders had distributed Rs. 5 crore in Kovur, whereas officials could seize only Rs 1 crore.

Meanwhile, the cash seized so far in all the constituencies touched the Rs 9-crore mark. The Income Tax Department has been asked to investigate into all the cases and identify the source of the money.

Directive to police

The CEO issued orders barring mobile phone service providers from facilitating bulk SMSes amounting to canvassing for a party or candidate and the media, particularly TV channels, from carrying exit out poll surveys. The ban will be in place till 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The police have also been asked to check hotels, guesthouses, kalyanamandapams, community halls, residential schools and flush out outsiders. If a Minister remained in his own district where by-elections are being held, he should move out only for casting his vote, that too followed by a shadow patrol party. Severe action will be taken if any of the 20,000 polling and police officials on duty is found favouring a party or candidate, he added.