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BJP refutes bribery charge by Leh journalists

IANS  |  Jammu 

The (BJP) on Wednesday denied the allegations levelled by journalists of Press Club that the party had tried to bribe them.

Addressing a press conference here, Vikram Randhawa, the who has been accused of distributing envelopes containing cash to journalists at a hotel in on May 2, said, "If they (journalists) had discovered cash in the envelopes distributed among them, why did they stay back for the lavish lunch at the hotel which cost the BJP Rs 11,000."

The further said, "All the allegations levelled by the journalists in are baseless and misleading. They were supported by the and other anti-BJP elements in to malign the image of the BKP.

"The CCTV footage being circulated on shows invitation envelopes being given to the reporters for covering Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to Leh on May 4. But it was shown as if money was being given to them."

Randhawa added that some of the journalists returned the envelopes, saying they did not need a separate invitation as they already intended to cover the event.

Meanwhile, reacting to the allegations levelled by the journalists, former J&K demanded criminal proceedings against the BJP leaders.

Posting the two-page letter sent by the journalists to the (DEO) on his handle, Abdullah said, "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 Action must follow."

Earlier on Wednesday, Rinchen Angmo, a in Leh, said that envelopes were distributed among mediapersons belonging to the at a hotel where addressed a press conference on May 2.

"We were told not to open the envelopes in the hall and that made me suspicious. After I opened the envelope, I was shocked to find Rs 500 bills inside," Angmo said.

She added that the envelopes were distributed by in the presence of Raina. When she tried to return the envelope, the BJP leader refused to take it back, Angmo said.

She said a complaint has been lodged in this regard with the DEO and the police.

Leh DEO told reporters that the complaint has been sent to the police who have approached the court for directions to file an FIR based on the complaint.

The allegations by the journalists were supported by a video clip that has gone viral. It shows envelopes being distributed among the journalists at in Leh.

Denying the allegations, the BJP said it will file a defamation suit against the journalists.

"We will not tolerate such allegations. We will file a defamation suit against in the high court if it fails to tender a public apology," Raina said.

The parliamentary constituency went to the polls on May 6. It saw a a four-cornered contest between Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP, Congress' and two Independents, and



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 08 2019. 18:26 IST