Bengaluru:State electoral authorities has directed TV news channels not to air a “sting” video showing a state BJP leader allegedly trying to bribe a kin of a former Chief Justice of India to get a favourable verdict for mining baron G Janardhana Reddy in an illegal mining case.
The direction comes hours after State Home minister Ramalinga Reddy called what the Congress described as an ‘explosive press conference’ and released the video clippings which were in circulation on social media.
Congress claimed the “sting” operation revealed that alleged attempts were made to bribe to seek a favourable verdict for Reddy.
The party alleged that just one day before the then CJI retired, he passed an order in a case related to Reddy brothers’ Oblapuram Mining Company.
“Now several videos have been released which show how bribe deals were done btw CJI’s son-in-law & Sriramulu/Reddy Brothers: @dineshgrao,” said Karnataka Congress quoting its working President Dinesh Gundu Rao in a tweet.
It said the videos that have surfaced today show how Sriramulu, middlemen and son in-law of the former CJI discussed bribe deals, hoping to get a favourable judgement from the Supreme Court in the Obalipuram case.
Sriramulu, a confidant of tainted mining baron and owner of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) Janardhana Reddy, is contesting from two constituencies Molakalmuru and Badami in the May 12 assembly polls.
In Badami, he is pitted against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Rao has also sought response from BJP and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.
The Congress has been criticising BJP and the Prime Minister for their decision to give tickets to eight persons from the Reddy “camp” including his brothers G Somashekara Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy.
“Do not believe in such fake stings which make rounds now and then,” BJP president Amit Shah said at a press conference, when asked about the “sting videos” circulating in the social media.
As the news channels started airing the video footages shared by the Congress, electoral authorities took note of it and issued notices, chief electoral officer (CEO) office sources said.
A news channel executive told PTI that the election commission said in the notices to all the news channels and publication houses that they cannot air any such content within 24 hours of election.
An officer in the CEO’s officer said a report has been sent to the election commission about the video and directions have been issued to the news channels not to air the video clip.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.
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