Karnataka: Congress lodges complaint against Murmu with EC

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee lodged a complaint against the NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu and others with the Election Commission in Bengaluru on Tuesday for violation of the provisions of the law in the Presidential election held on July 18.

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Congress has asked the EC to direct the Returning Officer for the Presidential election to treat all the votes cast in favor of Draupadi Murmu at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru as invalid in the interest of a free and fair election.

The Congress has charged that at the instance of Draupadi Murmu, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kaitl, BJP senior leader B S Yediyurappa, BJP chief whip Satish Reddy, the ministers and other senior leaders of the BJP joined together and summoned all the BJP MLAs to a five-star hotel in Bengaluru on July 17.

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They were provided luxurious rooms, food, liquor, beverages, and entertainment in the guise of training sessions for MLAs for voting in the Presidential election, the complaint stated.

On July 18 morning almost all ministers, MLAs, and other BJP leaders came in BMTC air-conditioned buses from the hotel to the Vidhana Soudha to cast their votes. All this has been reported both in print and electronic media. All these actions of the BJP leaders are nothing but bribery and exerting undue influence on voters who are MLAs at the behest of Murmu, the Congress stated.

By these acts the BJP leadership has interfered with the free exercise of the electoral rights of the MLAs and also by providing a bus and other vehicles to travel from the hotel to the Vidhana Soudha, the complaint stated.

The Congress stated that the hotel bill has been paid by the Chief Minister and the BJP leadership which is a clear violation of the provisions of sections 171b, 171 C, 171 E and 171 F of the Indian Penal Code read with the provisions of section 181a of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Act, 1952.

“In view of the above facts and circumstances, we appeal to your esteemed office to take cognizance of the election offenses committed by the NDA Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu, the Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai, State President of BJP Nalin Kumar Katil, BJP Legislative Assembly Chief Whip and BJP ministers, MLAs of BJP and other senior leaders and file a criminal case against them,” the Congress said.

The complaint has been signed by Opposition leader Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar and Opposition leader in the Legislative Council B K Hariprasad.

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