J.T. Patil, Congress MLA from Bilgi in Bagalkot district, has questioned the basis of a letter written by Karnataka Election Watch to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in which the NGO has named him as one of the 17 Congress MLAs facing “serious criminal charges”. The letter, signed by Trilochan Sastry, urged the Chief Minister to not include the 17 MLAs in the Cabinet.

Refuting the charge that he is facing a serious criminal case, Mr. Patil said on Wednesday that he was only booked for a poll code violation in a case where a party colleague had given a speech without the permission of the Election Commission.

Stating that the verdict of the court in this matter will be out soon, he asserted that at this point there was “just an allegation” against him that still needs to be proved. He added: “I do not have any records of criminal/corruption or any other charges. You may conduct an enquiry.”

When contacted, Mr. Sastry said that they were still “checking” the facts of the case. He said that inclusion of Mr. Patil’s name was based on the information published on the Election Commission’s website.

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