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Updated January 30th, 2024 at 09:31 IST

Congress’ Iqbal Hussain Admits to Distributing Gift Cards Before Karnataka Polls

Congress' Iqbal Hussain had defeated Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the 2023 assembly elections last year from the Ramanagara constituency.

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Congress MLA Iqbal Hussain
Congress MLA Iqbal Hussain | Image: X
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Ramanagara: In a shocking revelation, Congress MLA Iqbal Hussain from Ramanagara has admitted to distributing gift cards to constituents before the assembly elections held last year. As the assembly elections concluded last year, Janata Dal Secular leader and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumarasway had accused the Congress party of luring voters with gift cards in as many as 42 seats. 

Congress MLA Iqbal Hussain was on a visit when he was confronted by the members of his constituency regarding the gift cards. The residents questioned the Congress MLA regarding the delay in fulfilling the pre-poll promise- distribution of gifts on the basis of gift cards. Video footage captured the exchange, with people expressing their dissatisfaction and demanding answers from the newly elected legislator, while the Congress MLA assures them that they will receive their gift within 15 days. 

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The residents demanded accountability from Iqbal Hussain. One of the residents said, “You gave the gift card before the elections but what are you doing? You are the MLA and shouldn't you respond. Why are you misbehaving?” 

Assuring the members of his constituency, Congress MLA Iqbal Hussain said, "We have given it not to you alone, but to the entire constituency. We will distribute the gifts within 15 days or a month." However, constituents are not satisfied with the response, insisting on the immediate fulfillment of the promises made before the elections.

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Kumaraswamy accuses Congress of luring voters 

Iqbal Hussain had defeated Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the 2023 assembly elections last year from the Ramanagara constituency. Following this Kumaraswamy had alleged that the Congress had distributed gift cards to voters before elections. 

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“The Congress has not defeated Nikhil Kumaraswamy [his son], who contested from Ramanagara Assembly seat, ethically. Instead, it won by luring the voters by distributing gift cards. Each gift card had a QR code. It was worth anywhere between ₹3,500 and ₹5,000,” said Kumarawamy.

 

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In the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections, the Congress had secured victory by winning 135  of the 224 seats, while the incumbent BJP won 66, and the JD(S) was reduced to 19 seats.

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Published January 30th, 2024 at 09:20 IST

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