Karnataka polls: Congress asks election commission to disqualify BJP's Sriramulu

May 12, 2018, 07:35
Karnataka polls: Congress asks election commission to disqualify BJP's Sriramulu

The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that the polling for RR Nagar constituency in Bengaluru will be deferred to May 28.

"We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B Sriramulu from contesting the election", senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters after meeting the poll panel.

"The videos that have surfaced today show how Sriramulu and middlemen Captain Reddy, Balan, Swamiji Rajnish and CJI Balakrishnan's son-in-law Sreenijan discussed bribe deals in order to get a favourable judgement from SC in the Obalipuram case", he said.

The direction comes hours after State Home minister Ramalinga Reddy called what the Congress described as an "explosive press conference" and released the video clippings which were in circulation on social media.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of copying his party's manifesto in the Karnataka polls, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

Using the controversial video as evidence, the Congress alleged that in 2010 there was "indeed a favourable finding by the Supreme Court allowing the Reddy brothers to continue their operations". "There is no place for dalits and backward classes in the heart of the Congress", he said. Citing a video, the Congress in its letter to the EC said: "The evidence gives rise to serious questions and allegations about certain heinous and deplorable criminal activities being indulged in by the BJP's candidate Shri".

"The CEO Karnataka banned the showing of the video and we seek that this ban must be lifted, because this is freedom of expression..." Though the central leadership of the BJP has denied any involvement with Janardhana Reddy, the latter has been campaigning for the party and particularly Sriramulu in Molakalmuru (Chitradurga district). Under the existing law - which the Election Commission has been pleading with the Centre to change for several years now - only provides for six months' jail or fine or both for anyone filing false affidavits.

Apart from the bribery row, Sibal also took on the BJP for spreading "hatred among people of Karnataka" by airing promos in one local channel to suggest the saffron outfit is with nationalism while the Congress would disintegrate India.

"It warrants immediate exercise of the EC's constitutional powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India", the memorandum said.

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