The Election Commission has asked the Income Tax department to investigate the origin of the Rs 3 crore seized during the high-profile Kadapa by-election in Andhra Pradesh. The polls were marred by the allegations of blatant use of money power to influence voters.
Son of late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Jaganmohan Reddy is seeking re-election from the constituency after he resigned from Congress and floated his own party, the YSR Congress.
“Cases are registered and we have asked the I-T department to investigate,” a senior election commission official said. The biggest seizure was of Rs 45 lakh by another of Rs 39 lakh. “Most of the money was seized from vehicles during routine checks…We are now waiting for report,” the official said.
This is the highest money seizure from a parliamentary constituency in the recent times, an indicator of the stakes involved.
The by-poll, which also saw five Congress legislators openly siding with Jaganmohan Reddy, are also expected to be penalised.
Congress sources said the central leadership is likely to suspend five MLAs — Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, Konda Surekha (both former ministers), A Amarnath Reddy, G Srikanth Reddy and C Adinarayana Reddy — for anti-party activities.
By taking tough action against these these five rebel MLAs, the Congress will seek to send a strong message to all the Jagan supporters among its ranks.
It is learnt that these five MLAs were present in several election meetings where Jagan vehemently attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Andhra Pradesh Congress president D Srinivas meeting with Sonia will seal the fate of the rebel legislators.