The Andhra Pradesh police has issued notice to T News and Saakshi TV channels for airing audio tapes alleged to be of a telephone conversation between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and independent Mlc Elvis Stephenson, suggesting that Mr Naidu had authorised a deal with him. The notice issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of Visakhapatnam asks the channel to reply within three days why legal action should not be taken against it for defamatory material that ‘violated public decency’ and ‘disturbed tranquility and maintenance of law and order.’
T News was the first to air the tapes on June 7.
Mr Naidu has claimed the tape was doctored and his phone was tapped. Mr Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) have traded charges in what is being called the cash-for-vote scandal. The slug-fest between the neighbours started with the arrest of Revanth Reddy, a legislator of Mr Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by the Telangana anti-corruption bureau while allegedly offering bribe to Elvis Stephenson for voting for the TDP nominee in the Telangana Legislative Council elections.
Both the TDP and KCR’s Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) have accused each other of trying to buy support for the elections. The TRS won five of six seats and the Congress won one. It was on June 2 last year that Andhra Pradesh was formally split to create the new state of Telangana; both chief ministers are working out of Hyderabad. Vijaywada will be the next capital of Andhra Pradesh, while Hyderabad will remain as Telangana’s capital city.