Karnataka cash-for-vote sting under EC lens

  • HT Correspondent
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2016 07:55 IST

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission asked the chief electoral officer of the Karnataka state election commission to present a report on a sting operation, which purportedly shows legislators in the state being offered cash for supporting nominees of certain parties contesting the June 11 Rajya Sabha elections.

The EC met in New Delhi on Friday to take a call on the issue. Aired by a television channel on Thursday evening, the sting operation shows politicians reportedly discussing cash incentives for voting in favour of particular candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections.

A senior EC official said the EC was apprised of the tapes, which also reportedly shows former PM and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) supremo HD Deve Gowda and his younger son.

“The commission has asked the CEO to submit a report, following which it will examine the evidence,” the official said. No timeline has been fixed for submitting the report. In 2012, EC had countermanded Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand after Rs 2 crore in cash was seized from the car of a businessman whose relative was contesting polls from the state.

Former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi, who was in charge when the election was countermanded in Jharkhand, said: “The people in question might say they were only discussing and no cash was paid. But the EC is equipped to take a call in such situations,” he said.

In the fray for an RS berth from Karnataka are BM Farooq of JD(S) and KC Ramamurthy, former ministers Oscar Fernandes and Jairam Ramesh from Congress. BJP has nominated Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Earlier, the EC deferred voting in two Tamil Nadu assembly constituencies after it found evidence of money and incentives being used to influence voters. Fresh dates for polls in the two constituencies are yet to be declared.

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