Senior CPI(M) leader and former legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders attempt of trying to bribe journalists during a press conference at Leh, last week, to report in the party’s favour during the Lok Sabha elections, must not be seen in isolation and those responsible must be identified and punished so that such incidents are not repeated in future.
“Such culture was not prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir before and it is now evident that after using money and muscle power in other parts of the country, the party wants to promote this culture in J&K also. The political process in the state is already fragile and such episodes will dent its credibility further,” said Tarigami.
He in a statement said that this incident must not be taken in isolation and government must protect those officers who have taken a lead in exposing this rot. The complaints filed by Leh Press Club last week is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct by BJP leaders which amounts to a criminal offence.
“Video footage of the incident that has emerged purportedly shows some BJP leaders handing over envelopes to journalists at the hotel ahead of the elections to the Ladakh parliamentary seat. The footage purportedly showed a person speaking to journalists while his colleague hands over the envelopes to the reporters. A reporter is seen opening the envelope and returning it to a BJP leader, who does not take it back. The woman then drops it on the table next to him,” he said.
“The footage is enough to prove the crime and law must take its course so that such unfortunate and shameless acts are not repeated in future,” said Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.