Bengaluru, Oct 26 (PTI) The Congress on Monday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the BJP's Rajarajeshwari Nagar candidate Munirathna alleging that he was bribing voters by distributing free set-top boxes of his cable network and beaming his photo on television sets.
Reacting to the complaint, Munirathna said he was into the cable business and it is his profession.
Terming Munirathna's statement as a confession, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar said 'If at all the Election Commission is alive and is keen on giving legal protection, then it should initiate action.' In his complaint, the Congress working president Saleem Ahmed said Munirathna has been violating the model code of conduct by using his cable network.
Claiming that Munirathna has distributed more than 50,000 set-top boxes to the voters of the constituency, Ahmed said 'Muniratna has already spent more than Rs five crore for this purpose...' 'He has been bribing the voters by promising them free cable TV services and is continuing to cast influence over them as his name and photo are displayed in the television and set top boxes as evidenced in the video recording annexed herewith,' the Congress leader stated in his complaint.
Speaking to reporters at RR Nagar, Munirathna said, '..(cable network) is my profession.He (D K Shivakumar) too has a cable network.He too is a businessman.Both of us are into the cable business.' The BJP candidate added that the complaint lodged by Congress applied to Shivakumar as well because law applies to both equally.
The Congress, BJP and the JD(S) are the major parties contesting the November 3 RR Nagar assembly by-election.
The Congress has fielded H Kusuma against Munirathna, whereas JD(S) has fielded V Krishnamurthy in RR Nagar.
The seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress MLA Munirathna, who is now with the BJP, under the anti-defection law last year.PTI GMS BN WELCOME BN WELCOME