WATCH| CCTV clip emerges showing BJP MP bribing reporters, BJP denies allegations
A group of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh had accused the BJP of trying to bribe journalists for favourable coverage, in order to influence the general election. BJP has denied the allegations
Last week, a group of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh had accused the BJP of trying to bribe journalists for favourable coverage, in order to influence the general election. Now a video has surfaced in which envelopes are being handed out to the media persons at a press conference held in Leh, last week.
According to a report in NDTV, it can ben seen in the CCTV clip that BJP legislator Vikram Randhawa is handing out envelopes to journalists, he is accompanied by state unit chief Ravinder Raina. National Herald could not verify the authenticity of the video.
Members of the Press Club in Leh, on Friday had written to the local election officer, accusing Raina of trying to bribe media persons at Hotel Singge Palace where he had hold a press conference on Thursday.
However, the BJP has denied the allegations. The party had said that the lawmaker was handing out invites to the journalists for Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's rally in the region. It also said that it will sue the journalists for defamation.
One of the journalists, Rinchen Angmo, had stated that a senior BJP leader handed over envelopes to four journalists, including her, in front of Ravinder Raina.
"When we asked what is in the envelope, they told us not to open it then and that it is a token of love. When I checked, I saw many ₹500 notes. I returned it to them. But they refused to take it back. So I kept it on the table," Angmo said.
It can be seen in the CCTV video that a woman left an envelope on the table.
"We don't believe in bribing anybody. We hold journalists in high esteem. BJP has never done such a thing and we will never do it," a BJP leader said.
According to the report in NDTV, Election officials have initiated steps to file an FIR following the journalists' complaint. District election officer Avny Lavasa said that a probe was conducted after which the complaint has been sent to the local court. Officials are waiting for court directions to file an FIR, she said. "It is a non-cognisable offence. The police has put up the case to the judicial magistrate for order. That's the law," Lavasa said.
Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah tweeted demanding strict action over the incident .
"In light of the CCTV footage purported to show BJP leaders attempting to bribe journalists in Leh I'm retweeting my original tweet with the letter of complaint by the Press Club Leh. Action must follow," Omar Abdullah of the National Conference tweeted.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti praised the journalists and the election officer in Leh.