Special Correspondent

Urges media to create awareness among rural people on process for enrolment as voters

Fear of defeat prompts TDP to kick off controversy: Chief MinisterTelugu Desam charged with focusing on trivial issues

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said that the latest controversy over voter lists was a `conspiracy' hatched by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to take away the credit from the impending victory of the Congress in the local bodies' polls.

In a blistering attack against the TDP at a news conference here on Friday, Dr. Reddy appealed to the media not to fall into the `trap' of the party but create awareness among rural masses about the process for enrolment as voters. This would ensure that all bonafide voters are enrolled for the gram panchayat polls for which the notification was likely to be issued in July. Pointing out that the conduct of the elections was the responsibility of the State Election Commission, he said it was free to take action against any political party, including the Congress, if it was enrolling bogus voters.

Fear of defeat

Dr. Reddy asserted that the TDP had kicked off the controversy out of fear of its certain defeat in the elections since the "positive vote" for the Congress Government had gone up in the last two years on account of its pro-people programmes and AICC president Sonia Gandhi's towering leadership. The Congress' vote share was bound to be higher than in the 2004 general election when it mainly won on the strength of an anti-TDP mood among people, he said.

By raising the issue of bogus voters, the TDP asked its district units to file cases in courts, complaining of irregularities in the voter lists in 50 to 100 villages.

"Otherwise, let them name one single Zilla Parishad that they hope to win. With what face can they approach the voters after all the programmes we have undertaken," he said.

Non-issues to the fore

Dr. Reddy alleged that the TDP had hatched the plot, as it did not have any substantive issue to nail the Government.

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