ANDHRA PRADESH

APCC complains against Devender Goud to EC

HYDERABAD, APRIL 24. The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, charging him with misusing police machinery and influencing the electoral process in favour of the Telugu Desam Party.

Addressing a press conference, K. B. Krishnamurthy, secretary of the All India Congress Committee, S. Indrasain Reddy and T. Sheshnarayan, general secretary and secretary of the APCC respectively, said Mr. Goud was camping at Bhimavaram and holding meetings directly with Deputy Superintendents and Circle Inspectors of Police, to "help the Telugu Desam and harass Congress cadre." The Major Irrigation Minister, Kadiam Srihari, was camping at Kakinada with a "similar mission" and demanded their "recall to Hyderabad."

Having gauged the popular mood against the Telugu Desam in the first phase of the polls, both the Ministers were involved in a "last and desperate effort to help the party grab power by unleashing pre-poll terror, use of police to harass Opposition and distribute money to the voters." The money distribution cases have come to light in several Assembly segments of Narsapur Lok Sabha constituency, including Narasapur, Undi, Attili, Palacole and Penukonda, they alleged. A memorandum in this regard was submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer here.

They cited the example of the CI of Arundalpet police station in Tadikonda SC Assembly constituency of Guntur district beating up the Congress candidate, Varaprasad, and his supporters. They appealed to the Election Commission to intervene and stop such harassment and initiate action against police officials acting in connivance with Telugu Desam leaders.

They also urged the Election Commission to depute a special observer in violence-prone areas like the Nandigama segment of the Vijayawada Lok Sabha consituency to contain "violence planned by TDP and enable people to exercise their franchise in a free and fair manner."

At a separate press conference, senior party leaders P. Govardhan Reddy and Narsa Reddy expressed surprise at the Chief Minister blaming the Congress for not taking up Pulichintala, Polavaram and Inchampalli projects "with the intention of garnering support from people in South Coastal region going to polls on April 26." Mr. Govardhan Reddy recalled that Mr. Naidu had accepted the BJP's suggestion at an all-party meeting to put off the project till the completion of all the other pending projects on Krishna river. As for projects like Inchampalli, Mr. Naidu should take the blame for the delay, as it was he who started demanding that the project be taken up as a national project. It has raised a huge loan of Rs. 57,000 crores, but allocated nothing for such projects.

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