Cong asks EC to bar Sriramulu from contesting polls

Cong asks EC to bar Sriramulu from contesting polls

BJP leader Sriramulu.

The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission (EC) with a demand to bar BJP candidate B Sriramulu from contesting the May 12 Assembly election in Karnataka.

The Congress accused him of trying to bribe a relative of a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) to get a favourable verdict in the mining scam case.

A delegation of Congress leaders led by senior leaders Kapil Sibal, Motilal Vora, Mukul Wasnik, R P N Singh, P L Punia and Randeep Singh Surjewala met EC officials and also demanded withdrawal of the ban imposed by the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Karnataka on television channels from showing the video of the meeting between Sriramulu and the CJI's relative.

“We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B Sriramulu from contesting the election,” Sibal, a former law minister, told reporters after meeting the EC officials.

As campaigning for Saturday's elections drew to a close on Thursday, two videos dating back to 2010 went viral on social media and were picked up by television channels.

The videos purportedly show BJP leader B Sriramulu, G Janaradhana Reddy and two others discussing bribe deals with the son-in-law of a former CJI.

BJP president Amit Shah has dismissed the video as “fake”. “The video is fake, don't believe it,” Shah said.

Sriramulu is contesting against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Badami Assembly seat as well as Molakalmuru in the Saturday's election.

The Congress leaders also expressed surprise over Karnataka CEO decision banning the telecast of the video by Kannada television channels.

They also asked the EC to direct the CEO to lift the injunction on Kannada television channels or other media from showing and playing the tapes.