Accusations of BJP Trying to Bribe Journalists in Leh ‘Prima Facie Correct’, Says District Poll Officer

Leh District election officer and deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa, who ordered the inquiry, said that the complaint amounts to a criminal offence.

Leh: A fact-finding inquiry into complaints that BJP leaders in Jammu and Kashmir tried to bribe the media persons by offering “envelops filled with money”, has prima facie found merit in the bribery allegations.

On May 4, the Press Club Leh had accused the BJP of handing money to its members to report in the party’s favour ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Ladakh.

Leh District election officer and deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa, who ordered the inquiry, said that although the complaints allege violation of the model code of conduct by BJP leaders, it amounted to a criminal offence.

An Indian Express report quoted Lavasa as saying that the allegations were found prima facie correct. “We wrote to police to file either an FIR or a complaint,” Lavasa said, adding that the police filed a complaint and put it up before the court on Tuesday.

“We approached the district court through police, seeking directions for registration of an FIR in the matter. However, the court has not issued any order so far,” she said.

The charge was denied by the BJP, which said the allegations were “politically motivated”. BJP state president Ravinder Raina also threatened to file a defamation suit if the body did not issue a public apology.

“The BJP will not tolerate such allegations. It will file a defamation suit in the high court against the press club if it fails to make a public apology,” Raina said.

A two-page letter signed by several members of the Press Club has been circulating on social media, seeking an FIR against BJP state president Ravinder Raina and MLC Vikram Randhawa for allegedly trying to bribe journalists by offering money to influence the outcome of elections.

The Ladakh parliamentary constituency went to polls on May 6.

Source: News18

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