Congress Demands Disqualification Of BJP's Sriramulu Over 'Bribery' Video

BJP Chief Amit Shah dismissed the video as sham. "The video is fake, don't believe it," he told reporters.

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Congress Demands Disqualification Of BJP's Sriramulu Over 'Bribery' Video

BJP has fielded Mr Sriramulu, a close aide of Janardhana Reddy, from the Badami constituency


New Delhi:  BJP candidate B Sriramulu be disqualified from contesting the Karnataka assembly elections, the Congress has petitioned the Election Commission, over a video it claims shows Mr Sriramulu negotiating a bribe with a relative of a former Supreme Court judge for a favourable verdict in an illegal mining case involving the Reddy brothers.

"We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B Sriramulu from contesting the election," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters after meeting poll Commission officials.

Just two days before Karnataka votes, the Congress released two videos, allegedly shot in 2010, showing Mr Sriramulu and four "middlemen" discussing "bribe deals" with then chief justice KG Balakrishnan's son-in-law Sreenijan in a case involving the Obulapuram Mining Company owned by Janardhana Reddy. However, NDTV cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

The videos also appeared on a local channel in Karnataka. Later, state electoral authorities directed channels not to air the video.

Strongly rejecting the charges, Mr Sreenijan told NDTV: "The allegation is purely political. Why has the Congress waited so long, they could have acted when they were in power," he told NDTV.

BJP Chief Amit Shah dismissed the video as sham. "The video is fake, don't believe it," he told reporters.

The BJP has fielded Mr Sriramulu, a close aide of Janardhana Reddy, from the Badami constituency against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress. Mr Reddy is accused of illegal mining on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border and is out on bail. He has been barred by court from entering Ballari, the heart of his mining empire.

The Andhra Pradesh government had in 2009 banned Janardhana Reddy's company from operating its mines in Anantpur. Three months later in February 2010, the high court cancelled the order, after which the state government moved Supreme Court.

On May 10, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Reddys. The next day, Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan retired.

The Congress, which has been targeting the BJP over Reddy brothers, has alleged that the verdict was dubiously obtained. It's not clear who filmed the video but the Congress claims it was shot "because of non-settlement of the bribe amount".

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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