The District Election Officer accused A Manju of granting Baigar Hukum land during election time without following due process.

Rohini IAS writes to Election Commission accusing Ktaka minister of corruption
news Karnataka 2018 Monday, April 09, 2018 - 15:19

There seems to be no end to the embarrassment for the ruling Congress with regard to Hassan District-in-charge Minister A Manju.

District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri on Saturday, in a communication to the Election Communication on Saturday, accused Minister Manju of granting Baigar Hukum land after the Model Code of Conduct without following due process.

The elections in Karnataka will take place on 12 May, and the counting will happen on 15 May.

The letter by Rohini to the Chief Electoral Officer, Sanjiv Kumar, was based on a report by the Returning Officer (RO) of Arkalugudu, the minister’s constituency, which concluded that the tahsildar Prasanna Murthy and a case worker Lakshmeesha were associated with the minister in this alleged wrongdoing.

“The said action to sign and issue land grant approval during elections by backdating it amounts to “Bribery” within the meaning under section 171B and punishable under section 171E  read with section 188 IPC for violation of Model Code of Conduct,” Rohini said in her letter.

The letter also calls for the immediate suspension of Prasanna after he did not respond to phone calls by the district authroties on his alleged role in the wrongdoing. 

The investigation was carried out after a Bharatiya Janata Party district functionary complained to officials, alleging irregularities on part of the minister.

“A complaint was filed by the BJP, and the Returning Officer investigated the case, wherein it was found that the land was given in violation of norms. The report submitted by the RO was very damning,” a source in the District administration told TNM.

CCTV footage spills the beans

Sources said that RO, in the report, said that CCTV footage of the taluk office revealed that the minister, who is the chairman of the Baigar Hukum committee, did not appear in the meeting at all.  The tahsildar and the case worker has allegedly forged dates in the documents relating to the land parcels awarded to hundreds of families.

“The registrar showed that on one single day, 10-15 pages were written and more than a 1000 applications were disposed off, a majority of which were from the ruling party workers. Some of the land was not even permissible to be granted,” the source said.

“We approached the EC as, prima facie, it is a gross violation and not a minor violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). This involves at least 5,000-6,000 voters. Everybody knew that the MCC was to come in place by March and this has happened well after the MCC was put in place,” the source added.

This latest charge against Manju comes after Rohini had locked down Manju’s office on March 31 at the PWD Inspection Bungalow. Rohini issued notices to the minister and the PWD demanding to know why a government space was being used for election work, as this is against the MCC rules. An FIR was registered by the district police following a complaint by the district authorities after the minister admitted to the irregularities.

 

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