Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao has written to the Chief Election Commissioner of India seeking action against Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel and others over alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct.
In his letter, the KPCC president stated that Yediyurappa referring to the rebel MLAs of the former JD(S)-Congress ruling coalition as “future ministers” was a violation of the poll code.
It may be recalled that all 16 of the 17 rebels, barring Roshan Baig, who were instrumental in ending the HD Kumaraswamy-led government, were inducted into the BJP following the SC order that they can contest the bye-polls.
The disqualification of the MLAs had paved the way for the BJP to form the government in the state in July this year.
In his letter, the senior Congress leader said, “BS Yediyurappa described them as ‘future Ministers of Karnataka’ after bye election and also said that all promises made to them would be fulfilled. This statement is made by Sri BS Yediyurappa with a view to induce and to influence the voters of the above said assembly constituencies.”
Incidentally, 13 out of the 17 MLAs have already been given tickets to the bye-polls from the seats they had won during the 2018 elections as part of Congress/JD(S).
The BJP announced that Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Pura), ST Somashekar (Yeshwanthpur), Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), MTB Nagaraj (Hosakote), Narayanagowda (KR Pet) and AH Vishwanath (Hunsur) would be the party’s candidates in the bye-elections.
The Congress also took exception to Yediyurappa stating that the BJP will field not Roshan Baig but M Saravana from Shivajinagara to give representation to the Tamil speaking population.
The letter also encloses media reports, in English and Kannada, confirming Yediyurappa’s statements.
Seeking action from the EC, the state Congress chief wrote, “These acts of Sri BS Yediyurappa and of the above said candidates of BJP and other leaders of BJP are in violation of the provisions of section 171 of the Indian Penal Code, the Provision section of 123 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 and of the Model Code of Conduct. They have made these acts/statement with an intention to induce and to influence of the voters of the above said assembly constituencies; which is nothing but corrupt practices committed by them which is punishable under the provision of section 171 A to F and Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, Section of the 125 of the Representative People Act 1951 and of the Model Code of Conduct. It is an offence committed by the said leader and the same is reported in the media at large. It is the duty of the Commission to take cognisance suo motu and to initiate action against the said persons.”
Moreover, the KPCC president also pointed out that the BJP promising an MLC seat to independent MLA from Ranebennur, R Shankar, who was also disqualified, was also a violation of the model code of conduct which has been put in place since November 11.