Kozhikode sting operation: Cong MP seeking re-election booked

Kozhikode: A case has been registered against the Congress’s Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency candidate M K Raghavan in connection with a bribe allegation against him that surfaced in a sting operation, visuals of which were telecast by a television channel recently, police said on Monday.

Raghavan, who has denied the allegation claiming that the video was doctored, had been charged under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), they added.

The two-time MP is aiming for a hat-trick from the Kozhikode constituency in the polls on Tuesday. A Hindi news  channel had, on 3 April, aired visuals purportedly showing Raghavan negotiating a bribe for land acquisition in the city for setting up a hotel. In the video, the Congress MP had also allegedly stated that an amount of around Rs 20 crore was required for election campaign. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala had also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission (EC), the state Chief Electoral Officer and the District Election Officer seeking legal action against Raghavan for alleged violation of the rules on poll expenditure. Two senior officials had recorded the Congress leader’s statement.

Raghavan has been maintaining that the allegation against him is politically motivated. He has claimed that the video was doctored with his voice dubbed as part of a conspiracy. The Congress leader has also demanded action against the television channel that had aired the visuals of the sting operation.

In the video, Raghavan is purportedly seen seeking Rs 5 crore from two persons who had come to his house for facilitating land acquisition for a real estate company.