Poll panel to verify Jaswant’s cash-for-votes CD (Lead)

April 1st, 2009 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi/Jaipur, April 1 (IANS) The Election Commission Wednesday said it will verify the contents of a CD showing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh distributing money at a poll meeting in a Rajasthan village.
The administration of Rajasthan’s Barmer district, where the BJP leader was videographed giving money to a woman, has sent its preliminary report to the poll panel, said district collector of Barmer.

In the capital, a poll panel official said the Election Commission will look into the case after the CD was received.

“The Election Commission is yet to receive the CD. The full Election Commission will see it. We will verify it,” deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan told reporters.

Official sources in Rajasthan said the administration has in its report to the Election Commission charged the BJP leader with three offences - money distribution, distribution of food packets and promise to install hand pumps.

The former union minister was caught on camera Tuesday distributing money at an election meeting in Gajaria village of Barmer, about 550 km from Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan.

In the video clip telecast by TV news channels, Jaswant Singh and BJP national vice-president Kailash Meghwal were seen giving money to a woman at the Gajaria poll rally.

Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Barmer parliamentary constituency.

The Congress has urged the poll panel to probe the cash-for-votes allegation against the BJP leader.

“It is a fit case for the Election Commission to look into, whether an attempt was made to influence voters,” Congress spokesperson Ashwini Kumar told reporters Wednesday.

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