Lok Satta Junction

For better governance in India.

Families paid to claim YSR shock deaths

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India Today reports:

Families of the “victims” admitted that they were paid Rs 5,000 each by Congress leaders for funeral and other expenses. In return, they were told not to disclose how these people actually died. The Congress leaders also reportedly promised to secure the release of ex-gratia to the families once Jaganmohan became CM. Take, for instance, the death of 70-year-old Uppalaiah, a potter from the remote Lakshmipuram village of Parakala mandal. His poverty-stricken family stays in a small hut. On September 3 afternoon, a few hours after Reddy’s death was confirmed, Uppalaiah died.

His son Mallaiah claimed the old man had “suddenly died” of a heart attack on the day Reddy’s body was found. But, his wife Lakshamma said that Uppalaiah had been ailing for over a month and was suffering from breathlessness.

Inquiries revealed how local Congress leaders had got into the act to show the old man had died of shock following the news of Reddy’s accident. A local Congressman had called up a reporter of Sakshi television channel, owned by Jaganmohan, to say that Uppalaiah had died of a heart attack after watching the news of Reddy’s death on television.

Within minutes, this appeared on the scrolling on Sakshi TV. Then, other media organisations too picked up the news. The YSR shock deaths myth was slowly being built.

Further on the tactics of the student wing NSUI of Congress to create a hype for Jagan to be made the CM:

The death of 25-year-old Teegala Chiranjeevi at Peddammagadda in Hanamkonda is interesting. Local residents said he was a vagabond and mentally deranged. On September 5, he committed suicide by setting himself on fire.

Since there was no one to take care of him, local NSUI workers informed the media that the man had immolated himself demanding that Jaganmohan be made chief minister. The police, however, registered the case of suicide.

“We know that 90 per cent of these deaths are natural. But nobody would speak the truth either out of respect towards YSR or fear of reprisal from Congress leaders. The family members of these victims too do not reveal the facts because they have been promised ex gratia by the leaders,” a mandal parishad member said.

Loksatta’s JP, while talking about high-level corruption, responds to a caller’s question on the succession drama going on in the Congress: part 1, part 2 and part 3. The problem is not just restricted to any single party, but is pervasive across most states and traditional parties. The common man has long become accustomed to viewing elections as a competition for power between several individuals/families, rather than as a selection process for him to choose the best people to run the administration.

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Written by jujung

September 17, 2009 at 5:58 AM

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