Election panel seeks report on Rajya Sabha seat ‘deal’ sting

Election panel seeks report on Rajya Sabha seat ‘deal’ sting

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) A day after a sting operation allegedly showed crores of rupees being “offered” to Independent legislators in Karnataka to vote for Congress or JD-S nominees in the Rajya Sabha elections, the Election Commission on Friday sought a report on the issue.

“The Election Commission of India has received queries on the alleged sting operations by some channels related to the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka. In this regard, the commission has asked Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer to provide a report on the facts of the matter,” the EC said.

On Thursday, a 31-minute sting operation, conducted by English channel Times Now over a week, with interviews and quotes of senior politicians, lawmakers, ministers and two candidates contesting the Rajya Sabha polls, allegedly exposed how votes can be “purchased” through favours in the guise of development.

The footage, recorded with open or hidden cameras, has former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, his younger son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, state cabinet minister D.K. Shivakumar, Congress lawmaker N.A. Harris, Congress nominee K.C. Ramamurthy, JD-S nominee B.M. Farooq and Independents Varthur Prakash, Ashok Kheny and Mankal Vaidya.

Though the expose does not show any cash being offered or exchanged, it claims to reveal that the Congress will give crores of rupees for the development of constituencies represented by Independents across the state.

Meanwhile, a few legislators, mostly from smaller parties, were shown talking about exchange of money in lieu of support in the coming Rajya Sabha elections in a sting aired by India Today TV channel on Thursday.

The sting pertained to two legislators from Janata Dal-Secular, one from the Karnataka Janata Paksha and an Independent.

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