Case filed against JK BJP Chief Raina for ‘bribing journalists’

A case has been filed against JK BJP chief and a legislator after journalists in Leh alleged that the leaders bribed them last week. The complaint was filed after a local court asked the police to file a case against the two leaders.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina and legislator Vikram Randhawa have been booked under charges of bribery and undue influence in elections. Both offenses are punishable with up to one-year imprisonment for each offense.

A probe ordered by the local election officials in Leh has found an initial case of bribery following a complaint by a group of journalists that the BJP leaders offered them cash in envelopes at a press conference on May 2.

After the Press Club of Leh accused the BJP of trying to bribe reporters for favourable coverage, a video had emerged in which envelopes were being handed over to scribes in a press conference.

In the CCTV clip, BJP legislator Vikram Randhawa is seen handing out envelopes to journalists in the presence of the party’s state unit chief Ravinder Raina. the authenticity of the video cannot be verified.

On Friday, members of the Press Club in Leh had written to the local election officer, accusing Mr Raina of trying to bribe journalists at Hotel Singge Palace where he addressed a press conference the day before.

The BJP has denied the allegations. The party said the lawmaker was handing out invites to the journalists for Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s rally in the region. It said it will sue the journalists for defamation.

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