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Congress files complaint with EC against Draupadi Murmu, BJP leaders, alleging poll code violation


A ballot box being sealed after the voting of the Presidential election concludes, at the Delhi Legislative Assembly, in New Delhi on Monday | Photo: ANI

The Congress in Karnataka on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the NDA’s presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu and others alleging violations of the provisions of law in the July 18 election. The party alleged that the ruling BJP in Karnataka had bribed and exerted undue influence on its MLAs on July 17 and 18.

The Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah and state party president D K Shivakumar in their complaint alleged that the MLAs, who were the voters, were provided luxurious stay in a five-star hotel. They alleged that at the “instance and consent” of the NDA candidate (Murmu), Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, BJP senior leader B S Yediyurappa, the BJP chief whip in the Assembly Sathish Reddy, the ministers and other senior leaders of BJP joined together and summoned all the MLAs of BJP to a five-Star hotel here and provided luxurious rooms, food, liquor, beverages, entertainment in the guise of training session for MLAs on voting in the presidential election.

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The leaders further said that on July 18 morning, almost all the ministers, MLAs and other senior leaders of the BJP came in a government-owned Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s air-conditioned bus from the hotel to Vidhana Soudha to exercise their electoral rights. “All these acts of the BJP leaders are nothing but bribery and undue influence on the voters/MLAs made on behalf Draupadi Murmu for the furtherance of the prospectus of the election,” they alleged. By these acts, the BJP leadership has interfered with the free exercise of the electoral rights of the voters or MLAs and a huge amount was spent on them in a five-star hotel, the complaint said.

The leaders appealed to the ECI to take cognisance of the “electoral offenses committed by the NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, Bommai, Yediyurappa, Kateel and Reddy”. They also demanded filing a criminal case against them under various sections of the IPC along with the provisions of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Act, 1952. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar also asked the EC to direct the Returning Officer of the Presidential election to treat all the votes polled in favour of the NDA candidate as invalid “in the interest of free and fair election”.

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