Andhra cabinet meets to discuss tapping of Naidu’s phone

Hyderabad, June 9 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh cabinet was engrossed in a lengthy meeting here on Tuesday afternoon to discuss alleged phone-tapping of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu by the Telangana government.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Naidu, was continuing even after three hours. Official sources said the meeting continued after the lunch break.

The cabinet is discussing the situation in the wake of release of an audio tape of Naidu’ alleged telephonic conversation with Telangana’s nominated legislator Elvis Stephenson in the cash-for-vote scam.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government has termed the audio tape as “fake”, and accused the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government of indulging in phone-tapping of Naidu and other leaders.

The cabinet is likely to pass a resolution, condemning phone-tapping and also calling for implementation of Section 8 of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act relating to the role of the governor in maintaining law and order in common capital Hyderabad.

The resolution will be sent to the central government, with a demand for a probe into phone-tapping and necessary steps for implementing the act.

After the cabinet meeting, Naidu is expected to leave for New Delhi, acompanied by a few senior cabinet colleagues. He is likely to meet central ministers to complain against the Telangana government.

The cash-for-vote scam came to light on May 31 when Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana arrested TDP’s deputy leader in the Telangana assembly A. Revanth Reddy while offering Rs.50 lakh to Stephenson to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in Telangana legislative council elections.

The ACB also arrested Revanth Reddy’s two aides in a trap laid on a complaint by Stephenson.

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