Weeks before Telangana votes, the Congress has hit out at Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, claiming that he does not have the guts to face an election without using cash or alcohol to lure voters.
Dramatic scenes played out at Telangana Martyrs Memorial yesterday, when state Congress chief Revanth Reddy was detained after he dared the Chief Minister to come to the memorial and join him in taking a vow that their parties won’t use cash or liquor in the polls.
Mr Reddy threw the challenge at KCR, also the chief of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi, after its leaders alleged that the Congress was distributing cash, liquor and other gifts among voters.
The state Congress chief and his supporters reached the memorial at noon yesterday. As he tried to enter, police took him under preventive custody. He was released shortly after.
In a tweet, Mr Reddy said KCR does not have the guts to seek votes without distributing money or liquor.
Earlier, BRS working president and KCR’s son K T Rama Rao and the Chief Minister’s nephew T Harish Rao had alleged that the Karnataka Congress was sponsoring the party’s Telangana campaign and sending Rs 1,500 crore to ensure a victory in Telangana.
The allegations and counter allegations come amid massive seizures of unaccounted cash and liquor ahead of the election. In just eight days since the model code of conduct came into force, recovery worth Rs 130 crores have been made. Contrast this to the total recovery of 103 crores in the run-up to the 2018 polls.
Over Rs 71 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 7.75 crore, ganja worth Rs 4.58 crore, jewellery worth over Rs 40 crore and other freebies like laptops, cookers, sarees, sewing machines worth Rs 6.29 crore have been recovered so far, the Election Commission has said.