Tharoor levels cash-for-votes allegation at Rajeev Chandrasekhar; BJP leader initiates legal action

UDF has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India alleging that the NDA candidate provided inaccurate information regarding his income and assets in his election affidavit

Updated - April 06, 2024 10:58 pm IST

Published - April 06, 2024 09:19 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor during his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections at Mariyapuram in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor during his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections at Mariyapuram in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. | Photo Credit: -

The electoral atmosphere in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency remained rife with mud-slinging as United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Shashi Tharoor accused his rival Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) of attempting to sway voters with bribes.

Responding to the allegation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader initiated legal action against Mr. Tharoor for defamation, labelling his tactics as “third-rate politics.”

The allegation of cash-for-votes emerged a day after the UDF filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India alleging that Mr. Chandrasekhar had provided inaccurate information regarding his income and assets in his election affidavit.

In an interview with a news channel on Saturday, Mr. Tharoor claimed to have received information from various sources, including “certain important community leaders and parish priests,” suggesting that the BJP had been trying to influence voters with cash. He, however, expressed doubts about whether those who have received money or promises thereof would be willing to come forward with evidence.

Mr. Tharoor further alleged that the BJP could have spent “20, 30 or even 100 times” the amount that the other candidates have spent on campaigning.

Mr. Chandrasekhar refuted the allegation, describing them a baseless attempt to tarnish his reputation. “Negative politics has no place in my approach. I stand for positive attitude and the country’s development. Please do not drag me into such cheap politics,” he said.

He challenged the Congress leader to provide names of individuals who allegedly received money and to disclose any similar experiences from the past. He also criticised Mr. Tharoor’s statements for casting doubt on community organisations.

Such allegations, Mr. Chandrasekhar said, are merely a futile attempt to divert attention from the incumbent MP’s performance over the last 15 years.

“Mr. Tharoor’s false claims, akin to his past misleading statements on issues like Citizenship (Amendment) Act and Manipur, are aimed at influencing communal votes through baseless accusations,” he alleged.

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