411 nominations rejected, 3 withdrawn for Delhi polls. Image Source: IANS News

Hyderabad, Oct 28 : The Election Commission on Wednesday appointed Tamil Nadu IPS officer, Saroj Kumar Thakur as the police observer for November 3 by-elections to Dubbak Assembly seat in Telangana.

The appointment came amid a row over the cash seized by police from a relative of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate M. Raghunandan Rao in Siddipet town on Monday.

When the executive Magistrate, in presence of the police, seized Rs 18.67 lakh cash from the residence of Rao's relative, he came there with his supporters. Some of them attacked the police and revenue officials and took away part of the cash.

The incident triggered a row with the BJP alleging that the money was planted by the police at behest of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The police denied the allegations and released a series of videos to show that the officials seized the cash and completed all the formalities.

Siddipet Police Commissioner Joel Davis said they acted as per the rules of the Election Commission and served notice before conducting the checks at the residences of BJP candidate's relatives.

The incident led to tension in the town on Monday night with the police taking BJP leaders into custody. BJP state President Bandi Sanjay Kumar was stopped from entering the town and forcibly sent back to Karimnagar.

After reaching Karimnagar, Sanjay sat on a fast to protest what he called manhandling by Siddipet Police Commissioner. Sanjay, who is also MP from Karimnagar, demanded the suspension of the Police Commissioner and booking of criminal case against him.

The MP was shifted to hospital on Tuesday night after his condition started deteriorating.

Union Minister of State G. Kishan Reddy had also visited Siddipet on Monday to meet the BJP candidate and a party worker who was injured when police allegedly used force at the residence of Raghunandan Rao's relative. He had targeted the TRS government.

The BJP leaders had said that they will lodge complain the Election Commission over the police bias.

Meanwhile, police in Siddipet arrested five persons and recovered Rs 27,500 cash from them.

The by-poll to Dubbak seat was necessitated by the death of sitting legislator S. Ramalinga Reddy of the TRS in August.

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