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Andhra SIT begins probe into phone tapping by Telangana Government

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Vijayawada:  The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Andhra Pradesh, on Monday, began probe into the alleged phone-tapping by the Telangana government by summoning phone service providers.

A team of SIT officials gathered information from service providers at Bhavanipuram  Police Station in Vijayawada.

Officials from two service providers reached here from Hyderabad and furnished the details sought by the SIT. According to sources, SIT has issued notices to 12 telecom companies to appear before it.

The investigating officers gathered information including the list of people whose phones were tapped and the names of those who ordered tapping.

The SIT also wanted to know if the permission was taken from the authorities concerned before the phone tapping.

Andhra Pradesh government had last week constituted SIT, headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Iqbal,  to probe the alleged phone tapping and other cases booked in Andhra Pradesh against Telangana Chief Ministe,r K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The allegations of phone tapping were made after a television channel in Hyderabad on June 7 aired an audio tape of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s purported telephonic conversation with Telangana’s nominated legislator Elvis Stephenson.

Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and Telangana legislato,r Revanth Reddy,  was arrested by Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on May 31 while he tried to bribe Stephenson to induce him to vote for TDP-BJP candidate in legislative council election.

The TDP government of Andhra has also taken up the issue of phone tapping with the central government, seeking a thorough probe.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government of Telangana has denied the allegations of phone tapping and alleged Naidu is making baseless allegations to escape from law in cash-for-vote case.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh’s Director General of Police J. V. Ramudu on Monday reviewed the probe into the cases booked against Chandrasekhar Rao in Andhra Pradesh.

Intelligence chief Anuradha, CID chief Dwarka Tirumala Rao and DIG Iqbal attended the meeting held in Hyderabad.

The Andhra Police chief reviewed all cases including one booked on a complaint by Jerusalem Muthaiah, an accused in cash-for-vote scandal.  Muthaiah, who is absconding, lodged a police complaint against Chandrasekhar Rao and his supporters, alleging that he was being coerced to name Naidu in cash-for-vote scandal.

CID last week took over investigations into the case booked in Vijayawada on Muthaiah’s complaint.

Many cases were booked against Telangana CM at different police stations in Andhra Pradesh after an audio tape was aired on ‘T News’, a television channel said to be partly owned by Telangana CM’s family.

Andhra Police on Friday served a notice on the channel asking it to reply within three days as to  why legal action should not be taken against it for airing the defamatory audio tape.

(IANS)

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Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi Among Top Names To Start Telangana Campaign

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Top Congress and BJP leaders, Narendra Modi and Rahul gandhi are all set to plunge into the electioneering in Telangana for the next month’s Assembly polls even as the ruling TRS has had a head start.

With the deadline for withdrawal of nominations coming to an end on Thursday, all major contenders were finalising their schedules for their star campaigners.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, several central ministers and top leaders of the two national parties were set to hit the campaign trail.

Sonia Gandhi will be addressing an election meeting at Medchal on the outskirts here on November 23. The meet was expected to give a headstart to the party’s campaign as it heads a four-party ‘Mahakutami’ or grand alliance ahead of the single phase December 7 polls.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will share the stage with his mother on Friday at the meet.

As this is Sonia Gandhi’s first visit to Telangana after the formation of the state, the party leaders were holding it as a thanksgiving event in her honour for carving out the state.

Rahul Gandhi will again visit Telangana on November 28 and 29 and later on December 3 to address a series of rallies in different parts of the state.

"He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019," the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
Rahul Gandhi, Wikipedia

Modi was expected to give boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign by addressing a few rallies on November 27 and December 3. State BJP leaders say Modi may participate in the campaign in four districts, including here, covering the constituencies where the party is considered strong.

BJP chief Amit Shah, who addressed a couple of public meetings during September and October, plans to visit Telangana for three days soon to address 12 rallies.

Party’s Telangana unit president K. Laxman said Amit Shah will address the meetings on November 25, 27 and 28.

BJP is contesting all 119 seats on its own. Several union ministers are also likely to campaign for the party candidates. Health Minister J.P. Nadda and party general secretary Ram Madhav have already addressed a few meetings.

In his first-ever election in alliance with Congress party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is likely to address a few rallies. Party leaders say he may share the dais with Rahul Gandhi.

TDP, a constituent of ‘Mahakutami’ is contesting on 14 seats. Popular actor and TDP MLA N. Balakrishna may also address a few meetings, especially in Kukatpally constituency here, where his niece N. Suhasini is a candidate.

Suhasini is the granddaughter of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao. Her actor brothers Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram are also likely to campaign for her.

Congress hires foreign agencies
Modi, Rahul among top names to start Telangana campaign.

Meanwhile, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is racing ahead in the campaign with party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao addressing series of rallies. He is criss-crossing the state in a helicopter, seeking fresh mandate.

KCR, who had already addressed few meetings after dissolving the state assembly in September, plans to address 90 meetings in 15 days.

KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao is another key campaigner for the party. He has hit campaign trail here and in surrounding districts, focusing on constituencies with sizeable number of voters who have their roots in Andhra Pradesh.

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Besides, KCR’s daughter and party MP K. Kavitha and nephew Harish Rao were the other key campaigners for the party.

The campaign of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is being led by its president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. He is addressing public meetings and conducting foot march for his party’s candidates in the eight constituencies here. (IANS)