BJP candidate contests Munirathna win in HC

BJP candidate contests Munirathna win in HC

Cong MLA Munirathna. DH

The High Court of Karnataka has issued a notice to Munirathna, the Congress MLA from Rajarajeshwari Nagar, on a petition that challenged his election. 

Justice Ravi Malimath on Tuesday admitted the petition filed by the BJP’s defeated candidate, P M Muniraju Gowda, who alleged rigging in the election. 

Gowda, who came second by securing 82,572 votes, urged the court to invalidate Munirathna’s victory and declare him the winner. His counsel told the court that Munirathna had “bribed” the voters and cited the seizure of 96 bags of ragi, 96 bags of wheat, 25 bags of tur dal, 50 bags of sugar and 7,818 saris — all valued at Rs 17.32 lakh — by the Kamakshipalya police in the run-up to the polling. 

The Election Commission’s squad that oversees the enforcement of the model code of conduct also seized saris and other freebies, leading to another police complaint against Munirathna, the counsel added.

The third complaint against Munirathna was registered at the Sadashiva Nagar police station over the seizure of 5,018 T-shirts with his pictures on them and 23,393 shorts — all worth Rs 90 lakh. Besides, a large number of voter IDs, Xerox machines, water cans, etc were seized from a flat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar that led the postponement of the polling. Munirathna was named in the FIR, the court was informed.