TDP hits back at TRS, demands probe into defections

Hyderabad, June 4 (IANS) The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has reacted strongly to Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy’s claim that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is involved in the cash-for-vote scandal.

A day after Narasimha Reddy claimed that there is evidence that Naidu spoke to a nominated MLA of Telangana, TDP leaders hit back at the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, demanding a probe into the “buying over” of 22 MLAs of opposition parties.

Senior TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh’s Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu on Thursday said the Revanth Reddy episode was a conspiracy of TRS and YSR Congress party.

TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Hyderabad on Sunday when he was offering Rs.50 lakh to a nominated member of the assembly as part of a Rs.5-crore deal to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in elections to the Telangana legislative council (Upper House).

TRS leaders have alleged that Naidu is the mastermind behind the scandal and demanded that he be included as the main accused in the case. Ramakrishnudu wondered how a case can be filed against Revanth Reddy when the Supreme Court has already ruled that a sting operation is not a legal method.

He said the video tape recorded by a third party should have been sent for analysis before registering a case.

Another TDP leader, S. Chandramohan Reddy, said the TDP will not be cowed down by TRS threats. He said the phone tapping of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his son Tarakarama Rao, daughter Kavitha and nephew Harish Rao would expose how they bought over TDP legislators.

TDP leader in Telangana, R. Chandrasekhar Reddy said a thorough probe should be ordered into how TRS engineered defections in opposition parties in the state. He said there should be an investigation to find out how TRS increased its strength in the assembly from 63 to 85.

Meanwhile, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari said Naidu’s silence on the Revanth episode amounted to his confession.

Srihari, who was once a key leader of the TDP and close to Naidu, alleged that Revanth Reddy offered money to the nominated MLA at Naidu’s direction.

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