EC gives clean chit to Naidu on Jagan’s temple entry remarks

Giving a major relief to Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, the Election Commission said that the former chief minister’s remarks on Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy’s entry into Tirumala temple does not amount to violation of Model Code of Conduct.

Talking to reporters at his chambers in the State Secretariat on Saturday, Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal said that Naidu’s criticism on Jagan’s entry into the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam for Lord Venkateswara’s darshan without signing the declaration of faith was not a violation of Model Code of Conduct. He said he himself reviewed the recordings of Naidu’s statement sent by the district collector and concluded that they did not violate the rules.

However, the CEO said that the reports on Congress MP Chita Mohan holding election meeting in the TTD Administrative Building and TDP leader Ch Krishna Murthy’s campaign in a church have been sent to the Election Commission for review and action. The report on Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasad Rao’s statement describing Sonia Gandhi as a bigger Christian than Jagan was still awaited, he said.

Further, the CEO said he would review a report wherein Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy reportedly stated that, in Tirupati, voting for parties other than Congress would be an unholy act.

Informing that the authorities have so far seized nearly Rs 8 crore cash from different election-bound districts, he said the Election Commission would take severe action against those who encourage people to take cash from the candidates. He said cases under Section 171 (B) IPC would be booked against such individuals.