LEH: Journalists in Jammu and Kashmir's Leh district have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to bribe them.
Rinchen Angmo, a local journalist, said envelopes were distributed among the mediapersons of Leh Press Club at a hotel here in the Ladakh region where state BJP chief Ravinder Raina addressed a press conference on May 2.
"We were told not to open the envelopes in the hall and that made me suspicious. After I opened the envelope, I was shocked to find Rs 500 bills inside," Angmo said.
Angmo said when she tried to return the envelope, the BJP leader refused to take it back.
She said the envelopes were distributed by BJP leader Vikram Randhawa in the presence of Raina.
Angmo said a complaint was lodged in this regard with the district election officer (DEO) and the police.
Leh DEO Avny Lavasa told reporters that the complaint has been sent to police who have approached the court for directions to file an FIR based on the complaint.
The allegations by the journalists was supported by a video clip that has gone viral. It shows envelopes being distributed among the journalists at Hotel Singge Palace here.
The BJP has strongly denied the allegation saying that the party has decided to file a defamation suit against the journalists.
"We will not tolerate such allegations. We will file a defamation suit against the press club in the high court if it fails to tender a public apology," Raina said.
Another BJP leader said the party was giving invitation letters to local journalists to cover the poll rally of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Ladakh parliamentary constituency went to the polls on May 6. The contest was four-cornered between Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of the BJP, Rigzin Spalbar (Congress) and two Independents Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Hussain.