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Chikkaballapura: BJP Candidate K Sudhakar Booked For Alleged Bribery

In Karnataka, a case has been filed against BJP candidate K. Sudhakar for alleged bribery and undue influence, with ₹4.8 crores seized, as per the Election Commission on April 26. Meanwhile, in Kerala, the Wayanad police have registered a case concerning the discovery of approximately 1,500 kits, stocked with daily provisions, from a trading establishment in Sulthan Bathery. These kits are suspected to have been prepared to “influence voters”.

On Friday, the Election Commission revealed that K. Sudhakar, a prominent BJP candidate and former minister, is facing serious allegations of bribery and voter influence, as per an FIR filed by the Static Surveillance Team at a police station in Karnataka.

The charges, under sections 123 of the Representative of the People Act and 171(B, C, E, F) of the IPC, highlight Sudhakar’s purported involvement in these illicit activities. The startling discovery of ₹4.8 crores in cash, seized by the Flying Squad Team, has raised significant concerns regarding the integrity of the electoral process.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka took to Twitter, stating, “The FST of Chikkaballapura seized cash worth 4.8 Crores. An FIR also has been lodged by the SST team of Chikkaballapura Constituency against K Sudhakar, BJP Candidate on 25.04.2024 at Madanayakanahally Police Station (SIC),” in a post on Friday, April 26.

Who is K Sudhakar?

Indian politician Keshavareddy Sudhakar, previously served as the Minister of Medical Education and Health in Karnataka from February 6, 2020, to May 13, 2023. Initially elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Chikkaballapur in 2018 under the Indian National Congress, he later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and won re-election in 2019.

Despite a setback in the 2023 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election, where he lost to an INC candidate, Sudhakar emerged as the BJP’s candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in Chikballapur Constituency.
The constituency recently hosted a rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the lead-up to the voting. PM Modi also addressed a massive gathering in Bengaluru.

Chikkaballapura is one of fourteen constituencies in Karnataka that voted today in the second phase of election. With over 2.8 crore eligible voters across these constituencies, extensive preparations have been made for a smooth voting process. Approximately 25 auxiliary booths have been set up, along with a deployment of around 1.40 lakh polling officers and numerous security personnel. The constituencies going to polls in Karnataka include Chikkaballapura, Kolar, Tumakuru, Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru North, Bengaluru Central, and Bengaluru South.

Kerala where around 1,500 grocery kits were found ‘to induce voters’ from Wayanad.

The Election Commission’s flying squad, in collaboration with the Sulthan Bathery police, seized 1500 kits containing various household items, such as coconut oil, sugar, and tea powder, among others.

Police reached the spot, acting on a tip-off that kits of household provisions were being packed allegedly to be distributed at some nearby places. A case has been filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and section 123 (1) of the Representation of People Act, specifically addressing bribery allegations.

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Additionally, authorities confiscated approximately 1,200 kits containing tobacco products. Similar incidents of grocery kits seizure occurred across the district, some allegedly linked to workers and office-bearers of the BJP, as per claims by opposition parties, including the ruling CPI(M) and the Congress. Notably, kits were also discovered at the residence of a local BJP leader.

In response, BJP candidate and state chief K Surendran contended that the kits were assembled by a temple devotee and misconstrued as inducements for voters. Other BJP representatives argued that some kits were meant for Vishu festival distribution but were delayed and intended for post-election dispersal. Subsequently, the flying squad confiscated all the seized products.

Recent Cases Against the BJP amid elections

In the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency, three individuals, including a BJP office-bearer, faced legal action for transporting a significant sum of money in a car. The principal figure among them, Lokesh Ambekallu, was identified by Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Manoj Kumar Meena, as a secretary of the BJP state office. The other two individuals involved were named Venkatesh Prasad and Gangadhar, as revealed through the official X handle.

According to South First Reports, On April 25, Karnataka witnessed election-related seizures amounting to a staggering ₹433.39 crore since the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct on March 16, according to data provided by the Election Commission.

Various enforcement agencies, including flying squads, SSTs, and police authorities, have filed 2,149 FIRs related to the confiscation of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals, and freebies. Additionally, the Excise Department has taken action against 3,025 severe cases, 4,691 breaches of license conditions, 175 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, and 27,625 violations of Section 15 (a) of the Karnataka Excise Act 1965. Moreover, authorities have seized 1,884 vehicles of various types in connection with these incidents.


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