Congress Hebbal nominee accused of distributing cash

Congress Hebbal nominee accused of distributing cash

Congress candidate from Hebbal, Byrathi Suresh, takes part in a protest against his JD(S) and BJP rivals during the re-polling in Lottegollahalli on Monday. DH PHOTO/B H Shivakumar

Accusing the Congress candidate in the Hebbal constituency of buying votes with cash, nominees of the BJP and JD(S) protested near the voting centre in Lottegollahalli, where the Election Commission ordered a re-poll.

BJP candidate at the constituency Y A Narayanaswamy and JD(S)' Hanumanthe Gowda protested before the Anriya Palatial apartment, located about 150 metres from the polling centre, where the re-election took place on Monday.

Narayanaswamy, who came to the apartment with his supporters at 11 am, accused Congress nominee Byrathi Suresh of distributing cash and gold to the voters in the building from Sunday night.

"Byrathi Suresh distributed cash and gold to residents in the second floor of the apartment. We complained to the police and the Election Commission, but no action has been taken so far," Narayanaswamy said.

He also said Suresh's supporters attacked BJP workers who went into the apartment to find out the stash of cash. "There is a CCTV camera inside the apartment, and the footage shows Congress workers distributing cash," he added.

Gowda also joined the protest. "It's true that Byrathi Suresh has been distributing cash at the apartment. But creating a ruckus near the booth would only lead to further voter apathy," Gowda said.

Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who visited the spot, also made similar allegations and blamed the police for not taking action.

Suresh, however, said he went to the apartment to have breakfast with a friend residing there. "The allegations of the BJP and JD(S) are baseless," he said. "Election Commission officials have checked and found no proof of cash being distributed here."

Residents of the apartment said the building has been used for political activities. "Congress workers distributed cash in the second floor to outsiders. We don't want political activities here. It is disturbing the peace here since last night," said an apartment owner.