Congress MLA booked for ‘bribing voters’ ahead of elections, say cops | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Congress MLA booked for ‘bribing voters’ ahead of elections, say cops

Mar 29, 2023 12:21 AM IST

BJP workers reportedly stopped Congress functionaries while carrying the saris to distribute them to voters in Bhalki town, and insisted that the police confiscate them. The BJP workers also protested in front of the police station in Bhalki demanding action against those distributing freebies

Bengaluru

Congress leader Eshwar Khandre was booked following a written complaint by assistant returning officer for Bhalki assembly constituency Prem Singh G Pawar, a police official said. (HT Archive)
Congress leader Eshwar Khandre was booked following a written complaint by assistant returning officer for Bhalki assembly constituency Prem Singh G Pawar, a police official said. (HT Archive)

A case was registered against Karnataka Congress working president and Bhalki MLA Eshwar Khandre for allegedly distributing saris in his constituency ahead of the assembly elections in the state, police said.

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The case was registered on Monday against Khandre and his associate Rajkumar Doddamani in Bhalki town police station under Section 171E (punishment for bribery) of the Indian Penal Code, a police official said.

The Congress leader was booked following a written complaint by assistant returning officer for Bhalki assembly constituency Prem Singh G Pawar, a police official said. “In his complaint, Pawar said that he was tipped off about Congress workers distributing saris wrapped in plastic covers,with photo of Khandra, to the people in the constituency. He then rushed to the spot with other officers,” the police official said.

On Monday, BJP ticket aspirant DK Sidram also alleged that saris were taken to distribute to voters, which led to an altercation between Congress and BJP workers.

BJP workers reportedly stopped Congress functionaries while carrying the saris to distribute them to voters in Bhalki town, and insisted that the police confiscate them. The BJP workers also protested in front of the police station in Bhalki demanding action against those distributing freebies.

Khandre could not be contacted for his comments.

Meanwhile, in Mandya, the police on Tuesday seized a lorry full of cookers meant to be distributed among voters. According to the police, officials have seized 1,595 cookers worth 35 lakh, which Sringeri legislator TD Rajegowda was allegedly carrying on Bengaluru-Mysuru national highway to distribute to voters.

Karnataka is scheduled to go to polls by May this year. Several instances of freebie politics have been reported from the state. Last week, the police seized huge amount of cash and valuables in several districts.

In Kalaburagi, around 1.9 crore unaccounted cash was seized at check posts. In Gadag, the police seized 1.43 lakh from a car without proper documents. In Belagavi, 9 lakh cash was seized, which was being carried without proper documentation. In Chikkamagaluru, the police seized valuables, including 9.3 kilogram of gold, being carried from Chikkamagaluru towards Tarikere.

Meanwhile, the income tax department has opened a control room to check unaccounted cash and freebies in the poll-bound state. The control room will function 24/7 till the election ends. The move comes following the Election Commission’s direction to keep a strict vigil over the movement of cash, bullion, jewellery, and other valuables, which could be used to vitiate the conduct of the election.

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