BJP Leaders Tried To Bribe Us To Influence The Outcome Of The Elections: 7 Journalists From Leh Complain To EC
They also filed a police complaint against BJP's state president Ravinder Raina and MLC Vikram Randhawa.
The Press Club in Leh has complained to the Election Commission and the police that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders tried to bribe reporters for favourable coverage ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the Ladakh constituency on May 6.
As per a report in The Hindu, the Press Club filed a police complaint against BJP’s state president Ravinder Raina and MLC Vikram Randhawa for “offering a bribe to swing votes”.
“After a press conference on May 2, these two leaders tried to bribe the media persons by offering money in envelopes in a bid to use our platform to influence the outcome of the elections,” seven journalists of the Press Club — Rinchen Angmo, Morup Stanzin, Tsering Rigzin, Tashi Landup, Stanzin Desal, Tsewang Paldan and Stanstrung Dorjey — wrote in the complaint addressed to the SHO.
They added, “We showed our anguish at their attempt. The press fraternity of Ladakh strongly condemns the violation of the Model Code of Conduct.”
Angmo, speaking to The Telegraph, said that a senior BJP leader had handed over envelopes to four journalists, including her, in front of Raina and the others present inside the hall. The leader urged them not to open the envelopes there, she said.
“I got suspicious and opened it. I found a lot of Rs 500 notes inside. I returned it to him, but he refused, after which I put it (the envelope) on the table,” she said.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Leh’s deputy commissioner Anvy Lavasa said, “Yes, I have (received a complaint). We are doing a summary inquiry and, if required, will file a police complaint,” adding, “It is a non-cognisable offence, and it (the FIR) has to be filed through a court.”
Per The Telegraph, Sunil Sethi, chief spokesperson for the state BJP, denied the allegations, saying, “We don’t believe in bribing anybody. We hold journalists in high esteem. The BJP has never done it and will never do it.”
The Hindu, however, reported that the saffron party said it would look into such allegations. “Our party has no such tradition. The party will look into it and take appropriate measures,” said BJP state general secretary Ashok Kaul.