In a video that is being widely shared on social media, a lawmaker of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi can be seen trying to bribe voters. E Ravinder Reddy is seen in the video negotiating an amount with women supporters for taking an oath to vote for his party.
The sitting lawmaker from Yellareddy, who is the official TRS candidate, is seen asking women to organize a meeting of 50 women's self-help groups for taking an oath to vote for the TRS, party chief K Chandrashekhar Rao and himself in exchange of Rs 5 lakh.
One of the woman can be heard haggling with Mr Reddy, saying, "What can we do with Rs 5 lakh?" The lawmaker's supporters reassures them saying, "they can expect more later."
The video, which has surfaced after the model code of conduct has kicked in on September 6, may spell trouble for the Mr Reddy, who had defeated his Congress rival J Surender by over 24,000 votes in 2014.
In the last couple of weeks, many have openly made a resolution, supporting KCR and the TRS in the assembly elections.
Supporters of Transport Minister Mahender Reddy had taken an oath in a mosque. He had later apologised.
Armoor TRS candidate, Jeevan Reddy's supporters had pledged support at a Ganesh pandal. Former speaker Madhusudana Chary's supporters had taken an oath at Bhupalapally and Irrigation Minister Harish Rao's supporters also pledged to support him, making resolutions at village level meetings. In all these cases, whether there was any lure or bribe offer is not known.
A teacher in Nizamabad has also been suspended for having led the villagers in taking an oath pledging support to a particular political party.
The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice barring the KCR government in Telangana from announcing any new schemes until the assembly polls are held.
"The model code of conduct comes into effect immediately after a state assembly is prematurely dissolved," the poll panel said in a letter issued both to the centre and the states. The Election Commission clarified that as the ruling government is only playing the role of a "caretaker", announcement of potentially populist schemes isn't allowed.
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