ANDHRA PRADESH

No EC bar on Ministers camping

HYDERABAD, APRIL 24. The election authorities here this evening issued last-minute clarifications while dealing with a number of complaints lodged with them by rival candidates and parties, including one from the Congress relating to camping of Ministers at different places in connection with the second phase polling.

The additional chief electoral officer, Ajay Sawhney, said there was no bar on Mnisters staying anywhere in the State except on polling day. The Congress charge was that the Home and Irrigation Ministers, T. Devender Goud, and K. Srihari, were camping at Bhimavaram and Kakinada with bags of cash to the tune of Rs. 20 crores for distribution among voters.

Mr. Ajay Sawhney said no one should enter the polling station on the polling day except the candidates and their polling agents and that too on specific complaint and entry was barred to even Ministers. The Minister should also not undertake official tours on that day.

TV channels were supposed to have stopped advertisements from 5 p.m. today when campaigning for the phase came to an end. The additional chief electoral officer said interviews of candidates could be displayed as `passing shots of news.' They should, however, avoid protracted interviews.

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