Hyderabad: The Forum for Good Governance, a city-based NGO, has found that politicians from Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh have spent more money on their election campaigns than those from any other state.
The office-bearers of the NGO, Justice Reddappa Reddy, retired judge of the Telangana High Court, M. Padmanabha Reddy and former IFS officer and Captain Dr. V.B. Rao VB Chelikani on Wednesday held a press meet and disclosed data of different surveys and statistics related to the campaign expenditure of different political parties.
The surveys have shown that 90 per cent of those elected either to the Parliament or to various state Assemblies are from very rich families. These people spent huge amounts of money to bribe voters. They also found that politicians of Southern states spent more money on campaigns than those from other states.
Mr Padmanabha Reddy said that there had been around 640 cases where in a total of Rs 84.36 crore were reportedly seized, but FIRs were filed only in 159 cases (Rs 28.27 crore).
Mr Reddy said that there were instructions not to ask for the source of money when the cash seized is less than Rs 50,000.
Mr Padmanabha Reddy said that in cases wherein evidences of illegal transactions have been established had to be handed over to the ED, but it was not done.
“When these amounts were seized, the persons transporting them gave statements that they had been given to them by political candidates to distribute among voters. But the FIRs were filed against the persons carrying the cash, ignoring the politicians allegedly responsible for it,” Mr Padmanabha Reddy said.
“The Bonakal police of Khammam district seized `49 lakh while it was being transported to the Telugu Desam office in Khammam. Money seized when the Model Code of Conduct is in operation, implies that it was brought for the specific purpose of bribing the voters. Sec 171 IPC clearly defines the offences relating to bribery, undue influence etc,” Mr Reddy said.
Retired Justice Reddappa Reddy said, “There should be a special court to expedite punishment. There are 3 crore cases pending other courts.” He said the Forum for Good Governance appeals to the Election Commission to follow up with police officers about the proceedings in the cases so that they could be brought to a logical conclusion before the next election.