DC discusses the cash-for-vote scam and the phone-tapping allegations

Telangana government is unable to state the source of the audiotapes

K. T. Rama Rao [Vs] P. Raghunatha Reddy

Deccan Chronicle discusses the cash-for-vote scam and the phone-tapping allegations


Chandrababu Naidu role exposed, he has lost the plot

K. T. Rama Rao Telangana panchayat raj and IT minister

Recently, Telugu Desam MLA A. Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed by the ACB for his involvement in the cash-for-vote scam. The entire episode was telecast by various news channels. With the subsequent revelation of the phone conversation involving Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, which potentially makes him the mastermind behind the crime, he seems to have lost his bearings.

On one hand, his team claims that the voice in the phone conversation is not that of their CM, however, on the other hand, they allege it was a clear indication of phone tapping. Both the claims cannot be true at the same time. Moreover, Mr Naidu and his team should know that using modern forensic techniques, it is very easy to identify the voice of a particular person.

My question to Mr Naidu is: Why have you not condemned Mr Revanth Reddy’s shameful action yet? As a man who preaches morals and ethics, why has Mr Naidu not suspended the MLA? By tacitly supporting the crime, is he not sending a clear message that Mr Revanth Reddy was merely acting at the behest of his “Boss”? Can Mr Naidu refute that it was his voice that the entire state heard talking about the “commitment” made by Revanth?

Instead of focusing on developing his own state, it seems Mr Naidu is more interested in playing dirty politics in another state. People of Andhra Pradesh will never forgive him for such dereliction of duty. Where else will you find the CM of one state actively conspiring to destabilise another state government? Why would a CM of one state have such an active interest in another state, so much so that it now appears that he may be complicit in one of the biggest criminal acts committed by any CM in Indian history?

The crux of the problem is that the current Andhra leadership has not given up its desire of ruling Telangana. It has not come to terms with the separation and Mr Naidu continues to hold on to the dream of hegemony over Telangana. Now that his alleged complicity is exposed, Mr Naidu seems to have lost the plot. None of the methods he is trying to invoke immunity are applicable to this case. The law of the land does not make exceptions for any citizen, even if he holds public office.

And Section 8 of the AP Reorganisation Act also does not provide immunity to a person hailing from AP, or any other part of the world, from getting prosecuted for a criminal act. Mr Naidu is trying to divert attention away from his alleged complicity in the cash-for-vote scam by levelling charges of phone tapping by the Telangana government.

The ACB has already made it clear that there has never been any tapping. If Mr Naidu has any evidence to back his allegations, he should produce it before the competent authorities. We should not let any of these diversionary tactics shift the focus away from the case at hand — the cash-for-vote scam — where an active Chief Minister is the main conspirator. It is only incidental that the individual who masterminded this conspiracy happens to be a CM, which does not matter as no Indian citizen is above the law

Script orchestrated to frame Andhra Pradesh CM

P. Raghunatha Reddy [AP minister for IT and information]

The Telangana state government is trying to falsely implicate our Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. The voice in the released audiotapes does not belong to Mr Naidu, therefore, it is not right to discuss the content of the conversation. Even with regard to the contents of a videotape, allegedly showing MLA A. Revanth Reddy trying to offer bribes to Elvis Stephenson, one should know that the matter is sub judice. Let the law takes its own course.

Ever since the state’s bifurcation, our CM has been repeatedly appealing to the TRS government to resolve interstate issues amicably. However, Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao has not shown any interest in resolving issues. It is clear that the Telangana CM is abusing his position and scheming against Mr Naidu.

While we are busy developing our state, the TS Chief Minister is indulging in mud-slinging. He accuses us of horse-trading. Has he forgotten how he poached the MLAs from the Telugu Desam by resorting to blackmail politics? The TRS government has also put out “morphed” conversation on the audiotapes to falsely implicate our CM. This is a clear attempt at character assassination. The channel owned by Mr Chandrasekhar Rao and housed at his party headquarters, first aired the audiotape and then shared it with other channels.

Because of this orchestrated script penned by the Telangana CM, the TRS government is now in trouble. The government is unable to state the source of the audiotapes. If it says that the tape was obtained by interception of the phone conversation, it would amount to an offence. On the other hand, if it claims that there was no phone tapping, then the audiotape is clearly morphed. This too is a crime. The TRS government has to come out clean on how it obtained the tapes.

The AP government has credible evidence that the TRS government has been tapping phones of more than 100 high-level functionaries of the AP government. We have given a written complaint on this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh.Intercepting a person’s phone conversation is a grave offence and a blatant Constitutional violation of right to privacy under Articles 19 and 21. It is also an offence under the Indian Telegraph Act. It is an admission of guilt that the Telangana government has been changing its stance continuously on the issue.

First, the TS home minister made a statement that the TRS government has proof of the recorded telephone conversations. When questioned about the source of these recordings, the TRS government immediately changed its version. It said that it had tapped Elvis Stephenson’s phones. When the TS government realised that this amounts to an offence, it came up with a version that Mr Stephenson himself approached the TS ACB with a recorded conversation. This shift in stance clearly exposes the Telangana state government.

In all three versions, the Telangana government would land itself in trouble. From Richard Nixon to Ramakrishna Hegde, every leader has had to pay a very heavy price for this unlawful activity. I’m sure Chandrasekhar Rao also would meet the same fate.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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