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Munugodu bypoll: EC notice to Rajagopal Reddy over money transfer

Hyderabad: The Election Commission on Sunday issued notice to K Rajagopal Reddy, BJP candidate for Munugodu Assembly by-election in Telangana, over allegations that his family owned company transferred Rs 5.24 crore to 23 individuals/companies for voter inducement.

It has directed him to respond to the notice by 4 p.m. on Monday. The poll panel issued the notice following a complaint by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) General Secretary Soma Bharath Kumar, who alleged that Rs 5.24 crore were transferred from Rajagopal Reddy’s family-owned Sushee Infra and Mining Ltd’s State Bank of India account on October 14, 28 and 29 to 23 different persons/companies in Munugode constituency for the purpose of using this fund for voter inducement by withdrawing cash from these transferee accounts.

“Meanwhile, as a transferor, if done by you or under your direction by a family-owned company as alleged, it is duty cast on you to ensure that this fund transferred to different 23 bank accounts are not used for voter inducement, as alleged, which is a corrupt practice,” reads the notice.

The Election Commission drew his attention to provision of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) to avoid corrupt practices and offences under the election law such as bribing of voters. The by-election, scheduled to be held on November 3, is necessitated by resignation of Rajagopal Reddy who quit the Congress and joined the BJP.

The Election Commission had on Friday censured Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy and barred him from holding any public meeting or rally or making any public utterances in media in connection with the by-election for 48 hours.

The poll panel took action against the minister for violation of Model Code of Conduct by stating during the campaigning that if people do not vote for TRS candidate, all welfare schemes will be stopped.

The EC had received a complaint from BJP leader K. Dileep Kumar about the minister’s speech and held that the tone and tenor of the speech made by the minister was in the nature of intimidation of voters.