In a major development in the cash-for-vote scam, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday, seeking his response to a petition by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy.
“Chandrababu Naidu did great injustice to Andhra Pradesh to extricate himself from the case. Now the Supreme Court decision is a major setback to Naidu. This is something welcome for the state,” the MLA told mediapersons in New Delhi.
In November last year, an ACB court ordered that Naidu’s reported role in the case be probed, following which the Chief Minister’s advocates challenged the order in the Hyderabad High Court.
In December, the HC set aside the order of the ACB court, following which the YSRC MLA moved the Supreme Court.
Telangana TDP legislator A Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed by the ACB on May 31, 2015, when he was offering Rs 50 lakh to Independent MLA Stephenson to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to the Telangana legislative council.
ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy’s aides. TRS leaders have been alleging that Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.
The ACB had earlier said that there were 516 telephone conversation records in the phone of Sebastian, one of the aides arrested, of which 102 are related to the cash-for-vote case.
However, the most important phone call was one alleged to be between Elvis Stephenson and Chandrababu Naidu.
The audio tape was first played by T News, a Telugu news channel owned by the ruling TRS party and was later picked up by others.
During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him. “Our people briefed me. I am with you don’t bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke, we will honour,” Naidu was heard telling the legislator.
Meanwhile, Naidu has downplayed the latest update in the case.
“What is new in the apex court deciding to hear this case? They (opposition) have filed 26 cases in total. They filed cases even after some of them were quashed in the courts. That’s the only work they have,” he was quoted as saying.