The complaint filed with the High Grounds police station in Bengaluru alleges that “this is a blatant and brazen attempt to hijack democracy.”

DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah along with other Congress leaders sitting with High Grounds Police station officials
news Karnataka Elections 2023 Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 15:18

The Congress in Karnataka filed a police complaint on Wednesday, 25 January, against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and other senior BJP leaders accusing them of offering bribes to voters ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka. A video of Jarkiholi had emerged in which he was seen speaking at a rally and claiming that anyone who would vote for the BJP candidate in the constituency, would receive Rs 6,000.

The complaint filed with the High Grounds police station in Bengaluru alleges that “this is a blatant and brazen attempt to hijack democracy,” and asked for BJP leaders including national president JP Nadda, state president Nalin Kumar Kateel and others to he held responsible under sections of Indian Penal Code pertaining to bribery, criminal conspiracy and also sections of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.

“There are a whole group of individuals involved in this conspiracy, and the same will become apparent on the arrest and interrogation of the above-said four persons and confiscation of their cell phones, computers and other digital devices,” the complaint by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress president DK Shivakumar added.

Ramesh Jarkiholi on January 22 had said that the BJP would pay Rs 6,000 to voters who would cast their votes for a BJP candidate during a rally in Sulebhavi village in Belagavi. The remarks were made against Congress leader Lakshmi Hebbalkar, who represents the Belagavi rural constituency. Alleging that Lakshmi Hebbalkar has been distributing gifts to voters in her constituency, Jarkiholi said, “Till now, she must have given kitchen appliances such as cooker and mixer, worth around Rs 1,000. She might give another set of gits. Together, all of them may cost around Rs 3,000. I urge you not to vote for our candidate if we do not give you Rs 6,000.” 

On Monday, in another event, Jarkiholi again made controversial comments saying that BJP will come back to power in Karnataka even if they do not get the required numbers. Speaking to party workers in Gokak, Jarkiholi reportedly said the BJP has the power to ‘adjust’ a few seats if they fall short. 

Reacting to Jarkiholi’s video, Karnataka Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol, denied giving money for votes. He said that there was no place for such things in the BJP. The Minister further added, “If one person makes a statement, it is not the statement of the party. It is his opinion.”

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