Video of money distribution in Maski constituency goes viral

Poll official says flying squad is probing the incident

A video clip purportedly showing BJP party workers distributing money among voters at a village in byelection-bound Maski constituency, Raichur district, surfaced and began making rounds on social media platforms on Thursday.

The video clip posted by Ravikrishna Reddy, a social activist and the State president of Karnataka Rashtra Samithi, was shared by 3,700 people within an hour.

In the 7-minute video, a person said to be a BJP worker was seen appealing to the people to vote for party candidate Pratapgouda Patil in the byelection. Exuding confidence in the victory of Mr. Patil, the worker insists on the people upon ensuring a lead over Mr. Patil’s rival so that the people could authoritatively demand the winner for development works for the village. Within a couple of minutes, the people are seen carrying currency notes purportedly given by the BJP workers.

When contacted, Rajashekhar Dambal, Assistant Commissioner of Lingasugur and Returning Officer for Maski constituency, said that he had dispatched a flying squad to the spot.

“We came to know about the incident when we received the video on our mobile phones today. We immediately informed the Control Room and sent a flying squad to the spot. It will verify the facts and take action,” Mr. Dambal told The Hindu.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ravikrishna Reddy said he would file a written complaint on Friday demanding the cancellation of the byelection and stringent action against the people involved in the distribution of money to the people.

“The distribution of money at a village in Maski constituency is not a new thing. Such malpractices have been there for many years. Now, because of smartphones and social media platforms, we are able to witness them with substantial evidence,” he said.

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