A Congress delegation visits Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi to meet with the Election Commission on Friday (Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
Less than 24 hours before Karnataka begins voting, Congress leaders on Thursday met the Election Commission over a video clip purportedly showing BJP candidate B Sriramulu trying to a bribe a former chief justice of India’s relative. A delegation comprising party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, former UPA minister Kapil Sibal, and senior leaders RPN Singh and Motilal Vohra arrived at the Nirvachan Sadan earlier today to meet the Election Commissioner of India (ECI).
On Thursday, the party released two videos dating back to 2010. The video purportedly shows Karnataka BJP leaders B Sriramulu and G Janardhana Reddy in talks of bribery with a former Chief Justice of India’s (CJI) relative. The video was played on Kannada media channels.
Referring to the video, the Congress has submitted a written complaint to the ECI.
The key points of the complaint
– “This clear-cut evidence relates to grave corrupt practices including attempting to bribe a Supreme Court judge.” The party adds that even a cursory view of the video makes a “clear-cut” case for the cancellation of Sriramulu’s candidature for both seats being contested by him.
– The party has complained that the video shows the son-in-law of a former CJI in conversation with three other people – Janardhan Reddy, Captain Reddy, and Swamiji – and that the discussions between them relate to bribing the former CJI relative to secure a favourable judgment from the SC in the Reddy brothers case.
The Congress’ letter to the ECI then goes on to give a ‘backgrounder’ to the Reddy Brothers’ mining case.
Congress leaders have made the following appeal to the ECI:
– Disqualify BJP candidate B Sriramulu from contesting in the Karnataka Assembly polls 2018.
– Registration of offences against Sriramulu for violations of provisions of the IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
– To direct Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Karnataka to lift any directive on Kannada media from showing the tapes on television
– To take all necessary actions for holding free and fair elections in Karnataka