B. Chandrashekhar

Liquor, money allegedly change hands

Lack of funds a drawback for CPI, CPI(M), BJP`Some communities turn up for polling only if they are adequately compensated'Victimisation of opinion leaders reported

ANANTAPUR: The district administration, including the police and political parties, which have high stakes in the local body elections, are all prepared for polling on Wednesday in different ways. The `final arrangements' were on in full swing from Monday evening, after the end of canvassing.

While the district administration was busy with the movement of men and material to designated destinations, major rivals -- ruling Congress and Opposition TDP -- were engaged in making final settlements with strategic tactics like restricting rivals' moves and dumping inducements in the form of money and liquor.

Funds needed

A trip through Singanamala, Uravakonda, Gooty and Tadipatri constituencies and interaction with a cross section of the people on Monday revealed that both parties were indulging in the practice. For CPI, CPI (M) and BJP scarcity of resources was a major handicap. "Reasonable funds are required even to provide food for polling agents and activists," said a senior Left party leader.

Ruling and Opposition party leaders say their rivals are better off financially. "Their (Congress) ZPTC candidates had received a party fund of Rs. 5 lakhs. . But, our candidates have nothing left now," claimed TDP legislator from Uravakonda P. Keshav.

V. Das, a senior citizen in Yadiki of Tadipatri segment, stated that a few communities in the mandal would turn up for voting only if they get some "compensation for spending time in exercising their franchise."

`TDP better off'

But ruling party leaders like Y. Vishveshwar Reddy, who had quit CPI(M) to join the Congress during the nomination process, says, "The TDP leaders had amassed wealth during the nine-year rule of the party. So, the TDP candidates are better off financially to meet the poll expenses," he said.

Victimisation of opinion leaders was also reported from some places. CPI activists led by its MPTC candidate at Kalyanadurg, Ramanjaneyulu, caught his TDP rival P. Srinivasulu allegedly distributing cash among the voters.