Karnataka BJP candidate booked in 2 states for plotting Kharge’s murder

As per reports, around 40 cases registered against BJP candidate Manikanta Rathod.

| Updated: 09 May, 2023 11:24 am IST
BJP candidate Manikanta Rathod with senior party leader BL Santosh.

NEW DELHI: Congress has filed at least two FIRs against Manikanta Rathod, BJP’s candidate in the Karnataka Assembly elections, for allegedly plotting to murder party president Mallikarjun Kharge and his family.

The FIRs have been filed by Congress leaders in Patna, Bihar, and Jaipur, Rajasthan.

On May 6, Congress released an audio clip purportedly of Rathod, in which he was heard threatening to wipe out “Kharge, his wife, and children” in Kannada. Rathod is contesting from the Chittapur constituency in Karnataka against Kharge’s son, Priyank Kharge.

The BJP candidate is no stranger to criminal activity, with around 40 cases registered against him in various districts of the state. According to the poll-reform body the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the BJP candidate had only studied up to class 8.

After filing an FIR against Rathod in Patna, Congress leaders expressed concerns about the safety of the Congress president.

“We are concerned about his safety. We fear that something unpleasant might happen to him. The BJP is uncomfortable with Kharge’s rise from a Dalit worker’s son to the president of the Indian National Congress, as well as the love he is receiving from the people of Karnataka, his home state,” said Bihar Congress president Dr Akhilesh Prasad Singh.

Similarly, Jaipur Police has booked Rathod and Rajasthan BJP MLA Madan Dilawar on charges of murder and criminal intimidation, based on a complaint filed by Congress state secretary Ram Singh Kaswan. According to the FIR, the two men have been booked under IPC section 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), and sections of the SC/ST Act.

According to reports, the Uttarakhand unit of the Congress has also approached the police with a similar complaint. The shocking allegations have sent shockwaves across the political spectrum, with both parties trading accusations. The BJP candidate has denied the allegations, calling them baseless and politically motivated.

“I was very surprised. Congress is scared of losing the election. So that’s why they’re making such false allegations. I have registered a complaint against Congress,” Rathod said.

The Karnataka Assembly elections are scheduled to take place on May 12, and the results will be declared on May 15. The allegations of a murder plot have added a new dimension to the already heated election campaign in the state.

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