Electoral authorities ask TV channels not to air “sting” videos

Political News, State, (Bengaluru), May 11:-State electoral authorities on Thursday directed TV news channels not to air a “sting” video showing a state BJP leader allegedly trying to bribe a kin of a former Chief Justice of India to get a favourable verdict for mining baron G Janardhana Reddy in an illegal mining case.

The direction comes hours after State Home minister Ramalinga Reddy called what the Congress described as an ‘explosive press conference’ and released the video clippings which were in circulation on social media.

Congress claimed the “sting” operation revealed that alleged attempts were made to bribe to seek a favourable verdict for Reddy.

The party alleged that just one day before the then CJI retired, he passed an order in a case related to Reddy brothers’ Oblapuram Mining Company.

“Now several videos have been released which show how bribe deals were done btw CJI’s son-in-law & Sriramulu/Reddy Brothers: @dineshgrao,” said Karnataka Congress quoting its working President Dinesh Gundu Rao in a tweet.

It said the videos that have surfaced today show how Sriramulu, middlemen and son in-law of the former CJI discussed bribe deals, hoping to get a favourable judgement from the Supreme Court in the Obalipuram case.

Sriramulu, a confidant of tainted mining baron and owner of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) Janardhana Reddy, is contesting from two constituencies Molakalmuru and Badami in the May 12 assembly polls.

In Badami, he is pitted against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Rao has also sought response from BJP and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

The Congress has been criticising BJP and the Prime Minister for their decision to give tickets to eight persons from the Reddy “camp” including his brothers G Somashekara Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy.

“Do not believe in such fake stings which make rounds now and then,” BJP president Amit Shah said at a press conference, when asked about the “sting videos” circulating in the social media.

As the news channels started airing the video footages shared by the Congress, electoral authorities took note of it and issued notices, chief electoral officer (CEO) office sources said.

A news channel executive told PTI that the election commission said in the notices to all the news channels and publication houses that they cannot air any such content within 24 hours of election.

An officer in the CEO’s office said a report has been sent to the election commission about the video and directions have been issued to the news channels not to air the video clip.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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