Congress complains against Munirathna for ‘misusing’ cable TV network

Union Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda campaigning for BJP candidate Munirathna in Bengaluru on Monday.  

The State Congress on Monday petitioned to the Election Commission of India for violation of the model code of conduct by BJP candidate Munirathna in Rajarajeshwarinagar constituency, for broadcasting films projecting himself through the cable network owned by him and distributing set-top boxes.

The Congress alleged that television channels, through cable networks, were displaying Mr. Munirathna’s name and photograph for the voters.

In a complaint to the EC through the CEO of Karnataka, KPCC working president Saleem Ahmed and former MP and legal cell chairman V.S. Ugrappa said the BJP candidate was an additional director of cable network Rockline Telecommunications Pvt. Ltd. and the network had been providing feeds to TV channels.

The Congress alleged that the BJP candidate freely distributed about 50,000 set-top boxes, each costing ₹1,000. On October 26, while campaigning, Mr. Munirathna himself stated that he has distributed set-top boxes to voters, the complaint said.

“These acts of Mr. Munirathna is nothing but a bribe and undue influence on the voters for the furtherance of the prospects of his election which is an offence punishable under the provision of IPC and RP Act 1951 and the model code of conduct,” the Congress said. It further said that Mr. Munirathna waived the payment of charges for utilising cable services provided for the last two months.

The Congress urged officials concerned to take steps to stop the cable television services being broadcast by Mr. Munirathna which display his name and photographs and register a criminal case against him for bribing the voters.

In another compliant to the EC, the Congress alleged that Assistant Commissioners of Police Venkatesh Naidu, Malleshwarm Sub-Division, and Srinivas Reddy, ACP, Yeshwantpur Sub-Division, were directing subordinate police officers to register cases against workers and agents who were working in favour of Congress candidate Kusuma. The police officials working at the behest of Mr. Munirathna had registered cases against Congress workers, the complaint said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 12:05:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/congress-complains-against-munirathna-for-misusing-cable-tv-network/article32947633.ece

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