Meanwhile, the BRS complained to the ECI that the Congress was circulating false content made using deepfake and AI technologies.
After the completion of the Assembly Election in Telangana on Thursday, 30 November, Union Tourism Minister and Telangana BJP chief G Kishan Reddy alleged that BRS and Congress cadres distributed cash and liquor to voters in most of the constituencies in the state.
He was talking to reporters about the violations of the Model Code of Conduct that came into effect the day the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced Assembly poll dates for Telangana and four other states.
He said that the police officers, expected to maintain impartiality, exhibited bias in their response to the incidents.
“Crores were spent openly, with the police witnessing the expenditure. The conduct displayed was intimidating towards voters,” he said.
“Despite facing threats and intimidation on Thursday, the youth and party workers of the BJP did not lose hope and actively worked against all instances of ‘goondaism’,” he said.
“The BRS party targeted BJP candidates without apparent cause,” he alleged, adding: “The Congress campaign where the BJP and BRS were shown as one was not in good faith.”
However, that did not stop him from claiming that the BJP would win a good number of seats in the election. “A substantial number of seats” were his words.
On the incident of a tussle between members of the Telangana police and the Andhra Pradesh police at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, he said that it was done to help the BRS and the YSRCP.
“The declaration regarding water release from the Nagarjuna Sagar Right Canal on the Krishna River for drinking purposes is intended to support the BRS in Telangana and the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
“No state should behave with another like the Taliban on matters related to the people. We should hold discussions and clarify the matter peacefully; I will write a letter asking the Central government to intervene,” he added.
Meanwhile, BRS working president KT Rama Rao said on Thursday that his party was completely confident about its success in the election, regardless of what the exit polls were saying.
“In 2018, too, all but one agency reported false results. The attempt to confuse the people of Telangana with exit polls will not work. Our party is not new to proving exit polls wrong. The actual result will come on 3 December. Our party will win more than 70 seats, and our government will be formed,” said KTR.
He also said that the poll panel should consider people being affected by exit polls while they were in the polling queue.
“The ECI should consider taking action against the parties who are working to influence people with false propaganda, lies, and fake videos,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BRS on Wednesday complained to the ECI against the Congress, alleging that the party used deepfake technology to create fabricated content targeting BRS president K Chandrashekar Rao and other prominent leaders, as well as its candidates in the Assembly elections.
The complaint was addressed to the chief election commissioner, the Telangana chief electoral officer (CEO) and the state’s director general of police (DGP).
In it, the BRS said reliable sources had provided information indicating that the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) was “involved” in the creation and dissemination of “fake audio and video” content — created through the use of deepfake technology and artificial intelligence.
The fabricated content featured prominent leaders of the BRS, including KCR, KT Rama Rao, minister Harish Rao, MLC K Kavitha, and several candidates of the party, it said.
The BRS sought immediate action against the alleged unlawful use of technology by the TPCC.
“We anticipate that this manipulated content is likely to be circulated across various social media platforms. We urge you to take necessary actions to identify and restrain the TPCC and its various legal, non-legal and invisible handlers from creating and disseminating such misleading content in media format, including but not limited to images, videos and memes,” the BRS complaint read.
Kavitha, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), said “Dear voters, let’s stay vigilant! Desperate parties are peddling fake news in Telangana! Don’t let fake news sway your decisions. Verify information before believing or sharing. Our democracy thrives on informed choices, not misinformation.”
Dear voters, let's stay vigilant! Desperate parties are peddling fake news in Telangana!
Don't let fake news sway your decisions. Verify information before believing or sharing. Our democracy thrives on informed choices, not misinformation.#GoVote #JaiTelangana pic.twitter.com/gGGQmcsfmt
— Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) November 30, 2023