A CCTV footage emerged, on the 8th of May, which proves the claim of the journalists stating the BJP members in the region tried to bribe them for positive coverage of the Party.
The incident came to light, after a group of journalists from Leh alleged the BJP members were trying to bribe journalists, asking them to cover only positive news about the Party.
On the 3rd of May, the Press Club of Ladakh wrote a letter to the Local Election Officer and demanded action against the BJP.
However, the BJP then denied the allegations and threatened to sue the journalists by filing a defamation case against them.
Vikram Randhawa held a press conference at Hotel Singge Palace after which he tried to bribe the journalists.
In the CCTV clip, which was leaked on the 8th of May, Vikram Randhawa, a lawmaker of the BJP is seen handing an envelope to a journalist. In the clip, apart from journalists and Randhawa, Ravinder Raina, the President of the BJP in Leh was also seen.
The BJP further defended themselves saying, “The lawmaker was handing out invites to the journalists for Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s rally in the region.”
Though the authenticity of the CCTV footage is not confirmed, the journalist are ready to give their statements and file a complaint against the BJP.
Rinchen Angmo, one of the journalists spoke about the envelope and said, “I got suspicious and opened it. I found some 500 rupee notes inside the envelope. I returned it to him but he refused to take it; I kept it (envelope) on a table.”
The incident drew a lot of criticism from politicians of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah urged the authority to take action against the guilty.
Both the leaders took to Twitter and shared their views
If a Congress / TMC / BSP / SP leader was caught trying to pay off media with such solid evidence, media would’ve gone hammer & tongs about it. Why the radio silence & no hashtags? Glad to know that some have the guts to refuse. Proud of Avny Lavasa who put them in their place. https://t.co/856rcDM8dI
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 8, 2019
Shame on @BJP4JnK for trying to sway Journalists and thinking they are so gullible.
Jammu and Kashmir is a complex State to report in and Journalists have upheld the Ethics of the profession with Grace Dignity and Courage through all the difficult times in the State. https://t.co/xtcoAfVMxB
— Devender Singh Rana (@DevenderSRana) May 8, 2019
Avny Lavasa, the District Election Officer (DEO) initiated the enquiry and is ready to file a First Information Report (FIR.)
The issue has also been reported to the local court, following the permission of the court the DEO of Leh will file a FIR for the same.
The enquiry in the case is still underway.
Stay tuned for further updates about the story.