BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah contended before the Karnataka High Court that promises made in the election manifesto would not amount to corrupt practices committed by an individual candidate.
He also stated that allegations made by the petitioner that the guarantee schemes are corrupt practices amounting to bribery and undue influence under Section 123(2) of the Representation of People Act, are entirely false.
Filing the statement of objections to the petition by KM Shankara from Koodanahalli in Varuna hobli, Mysuru district, challenging the election of Siddaramaiah as Varuna MLA on the ground of corrupt practices, the Chief Minister stated that the Congress had announced five welfare schemes and measures as a part of its progressive manifesto.
It stated that Siddaramaiah is a pioneer in social justice and has constantly worked for the uplift of the downtrodden and betterment of the state. He has represented Varuna constituency multiple times and won the election because of love and trust of the electorate.
Stating that the petitioner was unable to provide any substantial basis for allegations of corrupt practices or inducement, Siddaramaiah said the Congress government has already implemented four of five guarantees, and the Yuva Nidhi scheme will be implemented at the earliest. “These schemes are rooted in principles enshrined under the Directive Principles of State Policy, and serve as a shining example of effective governance. They derive their authority, legality and power from the Constitution, and are already helping crores of families across Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah said.
He said there is no sound legal reasoning to support the contention to include expenditure on promotion of the guarantee schemes as expenditure of the individual candidate.
Siddaramaiah stated that the five guarantee schemes signify a transformative approach at prioritizing the welfare of economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities within Karnataka. These measures have been designed to empower and uplift a broad spectrum of citizens, especially women.
Meanwhile, Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav adjourned the hearing to October 6.