EC must probe bribery allegations made by Hardik: Congress

Updated on : Nov 23,2017   8:22 pm

New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday said the Election Commission should investigate the allegations made by PAAS leader Hardik Patel that he was offered Rs 1,200 crore by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's Chief Principal Secretary K. Kailashnathan, when he was in jail.

The party also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was on a "shopping spree" to buy political support through money and muscle power and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who "never misses an opportunity to speak on mundane issues, must speak now".

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also wanted the EC to probe into the malfunctioning of EVMs in context of Uttar Pradesh elections, which the party alleged that all the votes went only in favour of BJP and no other party, despite voting for other parties too.

Accusing the BJP of "shamelessly indulging in alleged acts of bribery, horse trading, misuse of money and muscle power, coercion and threats", he said that it "is desperately clutching at the last straws to stay afloat".

Singhvi also said that it is in the public domain how the BJP is luring Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders by using unscrupulous means of bribes, threats and coercion.

"The latest saga is an alleged offer of whopping Rs 1,200 crore which, Hardik Patel has disclosed in his press meet yesterday (Wednesday)," he said.

"The Election Commission should investigate and publish the findings of this case," he added.

On holding election in Gujarat through EVMs, Singhvi said: "Fortunately we have a limited state elections. Somebody can say logistics of looking at all the EVMs of the country is too large.

"A pilot project can involve an independent overseeing supervision of all the EVMs and a verification of all the EVMs in one state at least. There it is not logistic impossibility nor is a logistical nightmare.

"And who will give you that feeling of assurance - not the central government or the state government. The only thing is a sitting judge of a very high integrity," he added.

The party also asked will the Income Tax department take any action against Gujarat BJP leaders for "brazen display" of money and power.