EC notice to Telangana Minister over ‘vote to continue welfare schemes’ speech

The Election Commission on Friday sent a notice to Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy for violating the Model Code of Conduct by asking voters in the Munugode Assembly seat to support Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao if they wanted welfare schemes to continue, or support Prime Minister Narendra Modi if they did not.

The EC asked Reddy to respond to its notice by 3pm on Saturday with his explanation for making the statement. The EC said it had received a complaint on Wednesday from BJP leader Kapilavai Dileep Kumar alleging that Reddy made a speech on Tuesday that all welfare schemes would be stopped if voters did not choose the TRS candidate for the November 3 by-poll.

According to the transcript of the speech, as provided by the District Election Officer and cited by the EC in its notice, Reddy said the contest was not between the candidates of the TRS and the BJP, but rather whether the schemes for pension and free electricity would continue.

“If anyone is not interested in pension they can vote for Modi, if anyone wants schemes, vote for KCR,” he said.

The EC said the speech had violated the MCC provision against the use of corrupt practices.

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