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Congress asks police to register case against CM, BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi for plan to pay ₹6,000 to each voter in Karnataka Assembly elections

Congress leaders petition police seeking registration of a case against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP national president J.P. Nadda, State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi

January 25, 2023 12:54 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:23 am IST - Bengaluru

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, and other Congress leaders submit a petition seeking registration of case against BJP leaders for alleged conspiracy to purchase votes in Karnataka, at High Grounds police station in Bengaluru on January 25, 2023.

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, and other Congress leaders submit a petition seeking registration of case against BJP leaders for alleged conspiracy to purchase votes in Karnataka, at High Grounds police station in Bengaluru on January 25, 2023.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has accused the ruling BJP leaders of ‘hatching a conspiracy’ to woo voters in the forthcoming Legislative Assembly elections by distributing ₹30,000 crore, and urged the police to register a case against Chief Basavaraj Bommai, BJP national president J.P. Nadda, State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and former Minister and BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi.

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, in a complaint dated January 24 at High Grounds Police Station in Bengaluru, alleged that Ramesh Jarkiholi had on January 22 announced in Belagavi that the BJP would pay ₹6,000 to every voter in the ensuing Karnataka Assembly elections.

“This is part of a concerted conspiracy hatched at the highest levels in the BJP with the tacit approval of the Chief Minister,” they alleged. The Congress leaders attached a copy of video footage as evidence, in which Mr. Jarkiholi is heard offering ₹6,000 to every voter in the ensuing elections.

Congress leaders claimed that ‘this shows that BJP leaders have got more than ₹30,000 crore to bribe voters and to hijack the elections. There are a whole group of individuals involved in this conspiracy, and the same will become apparent on interrogation of the above-mentioned four persons and confiscation of their cell phones, computers and other digital devices’.

According to their petition: “Obviously, there is a group of BJP leaders behind this concerted design to bribe voters. This is a blatant and brazen attempt to hijack democracy, and are obvious criminal offences under Sections 171 B, read with 107, 120 B, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It is also a bribe offering to the voters as per provisions of Section 123(1) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.”

The petition states: “This is also a fit and appropriate case where a full investigation by the Income Tax Department, and the Enforcement Directorate should initiate proceedings against the BJP’s central and State leaders, the CM of Karnataka and his Cabinet colleagues, and Mr. Jarkiholi to unearth the source of the ill-gotten money of ₹30,000 crore likely to be distributed to the voters of Karnataka”.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, tweeted: “What hypocrisy Mr. @BSBommai ! Ur leader & BJP MLA Ramesh Jharkioli publicly reveals that BJP will buy each vote at the rate of ₹6,000 per vote. Obviously with your consent as u have neither removed nor expelled him from BJP. And u want to celebrate democracy? What a joke!”

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