08/06/2015 3:33 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Cash-For-Votes Scam: Case Registered Against Telangana CM Over Phone Tapping Allegations

HYDERABAD — In a fresh twist in the cash-for-votes scam, Andhra Pradesh police today registered a case against Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao over the alleged illegal tapping of the phones of his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu.

In the wake of local media airing an audio recording of a purported conversation Naidu had with a nominated legislator seeking his vote in the Legislative Council elections, TDP leaders also sought the intervention of Governor ESL Narasimhan as they accused Rao of making "venomous" attempts to tarnish the image of their party.

According to B Tirumala Rao, Inspector of III-Town police station in Visakhapatnam, a case was registered against Rao following a complaint by local lawyer NVV Prasad.

The complaint also alleged that leaders of the ruling TRS in Telangana were snooping on their TDP counterparts. The case has been registered under Sections 464, 647, 471, 166, 167 and 120/B of IPC.

A purported conversation between Naidu and nominated MLA Elvys Stephenson, aired by local TV channels, further fuelled the row over alleged attempts by TDP to bribe the MLA in exchange for his vote in favour of the party's nominee in the Legislative Council elections.

Parakala Prabhakar, Advisor (Communications) to the Andhra government, dubbed the tapes as "fabricated" and said the government was taking the matter seriously.

The purported conversation suggests that Naidu was giving "assurance of all sorts" to the nominated legislator if he voted for the TDP nominee.

Prabhakar alleged that Telangana government was trying to malign the image of the AP chief minister by resorting to "cheap tactics".

"It is not the chief minister's conversation. How come they are available outside. Telangana government has to answer that. The Telangana chief minister and home minister should give answers," Parakala had said.

The anti-corruption bureau of Telangana is in the process of questioning TDP MLA Revanth Reddy and two others arrested in connection with the case.

On May 31, ACB arrested Reddy for allegedly trying to bribe Stephenson into voting for the TDP nominee in the Telangana Legislative Council elections.

Based on a complaint by Stephenson, ACB officials arrested Revanth, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha as they were allegedly handing over Rs 50 lakh to the MLA.

Appealing to Governor Narasimhan, who is in charge of both the states, TDP leaders said, "Governor, who is supposed to safeguard people's rights, properties and law and order in the common capital, should not keep quiet.

"He should control this venomous conspiracy of KCR before animosities flare up," senior TDP leader Payyavula Keshav told reporters.

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