The Congress on Friday approached the Election Commission seeking disqualification of B Sriramulu, BJP’s candidate from Molakalmuru and Badami Assembly seats of Karnataka, from contesting the state Assembly elections after a sting video allegedly showing him attempting to a bribe a former chief justice’s relative surfaced.
A delegation of senior Congress Party leaders Motilal Vora, Kapil Sibbal, Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Singh Surjewala, RPN Singh, PL Punia met the Election Commission to present their demands.
Talking to reporters here after the delegation met the EC, Mr Sibal said,’We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B Sriramulu from contesting the election.’
The Congress has released two videos, dating back to 2010, allegedly showing BJP leaders B Sriramulu and G Janardhana Reddy negotiating a bribe to a relative of a former chief justice of India to influence a verdict in a mining case.
The videos also appeared on a local channel in Karnataka. Later, state electoral authorities directed channels not to air the videos.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission regarding allegations of bribery .
The memorandum stated that ‘on behalf of Indian National Congress,the undersigned, are compelled to bring to the attention of the Hon’ble Election Commission, significant and shocking evidence, released by the Kannada media on the evening of May 10th, 2018. Also, the evidence clearly disqualifies Mr B Sriramulu as a candidate from contesting the upcoming Karnataka Election warrants immediate exercise of the EC’s constitutional powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
“We made four demands to the election commission that on the basis of the the video in which BJP’s Sriramulu and son-in-law of ex-CJI, that talks about bribes that were given, basis on the video an FIR should be registered against all those who are participating in it,’ Mr Sibal said.
The Congress also demanded that the ban by the electoral officer of Karnataka on showing that video in Karnataka must be lifted.
“Election where Sriramulu is contesting should be countermanded, he should be disqualified from contesting elections,’ Mr Sibal said.
The Congress also charged the BJP of spreading hatred among voters in Karnataka by putting promos in Rajeev Chandrashekhar’s channel.
In its memorandum, the Congress sought the following directions from the Commission:
‘To take all such actions as may be necessary and required in law and direct immediate barring/disqualification of Mr B Sriramulu from contesting Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018; and
To take all such actions as may be necessary and required in law including direction for registration of offences against Mr B Sriramulu, for violation of provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988;
To direct CEO Karnataka, to lift any injunction on the Kannada television channels or other media from showing; and playing the tapes.
To take all such actions as are necessary in law for holding a free and fair Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.’