Candidates backed by rival parties coerced: TDP

‘Ruling party trying to force unanimous polls’

With all set for the third phase of panchayat elections on Wednesday, complaints pertaining to sarpanch candidates supported by the rival parties of the YSRCP being coerced by the ruling party functionaries are pouring in the home district of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

“The YSRCP leaders continue to threaten or offer sops to the candidates backed by the opposition parties to not contest the polls,” TDP’s Pulivendula constituency in-charge M. Ravindranath Reddy alleged in a media conference here on Tuesday.

Mr. Ravindranath Reddy, on Monday, met Superintendent of Police K.K.N. Anburajan and sought police protection for the candidates backed by the TDP. He alleged that the YSRCP functionaries damaged sweet lime orchards of many candidates in Pulevendula constituency.

He also accused the police of exerting pressure on the candidates to withdraw from the election to facilitate unanimous polls.

Referring to the highest number of seats going unanimous in Punganur constituency, which is being represented by Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy, Mr. Ravindranath Reddy said that the ruling party were appeared to be hell-bent on winning the polls by hook or by crook in the Chief Minister’s home turf.

‘False cases’

The situation appears to be no better in Rajampet and Railway Kodur constituencies. “Our candidates were prevented from filing nominations. They were forced to withdraw nominations by revenue and police officials,” alleged Batyala Changalrayudu, TDP in-charge of Rajampet constituency.

He also accused the police of stashing liquor bottles and cash in TDP workers’ premises to frame them in false cases.

Citing instances from Levaka Panchayat in Nandalur mandal, Mr. Changalrayudu alleged that a witness, who had signed a TDP candidate’s nomination form, later denied having signed the documents later under duress. “We exposed the lie by pointing to her presence in the CCTV footage as well as in the copy of the nomination form that had been forwarded to the RDO of Rajampet, who is also the appellate authority. I was booked for canvassing at a temple when I was talking to a few people,” he claimed.

Similarly, complaints pertaining to not issuing postal ballots kept pouring from Railway Kodur, following the attack on TDP constituency in-charge P. Narasimha Prasad a few days ago.

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