Thiruvananthapuram: The Election Commission has initiated an inquiry against Shashi Tharoor, sitting MP and Congress candidate from Thiruvananthapuram, based on the complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left, accusing him of meeting pastors and bribing them in order to garner Christian votes.
“The district collector, who is in charge of the returning officer, has been directed to initiate further actions against Shashi Tharoor on the complaints,” Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto told reporters here.
The complaint was based on the report of a regional news channel about a meeting between Mr. Tharoor and about 60 to 70 pastors at the Union Minister's residence.
The BJP has alleged in its complaint that Mr Tharoor met missionary pastors during campaigning and offered money in lieu of votes.
"Tharoor assured all help from the Chief Minister if they voted in his favour to 60-70 pastors whom he met in an attempt to garner votes from," the BJP says in its complaint.
Mr. Tharoor is pitted in a triangular contest against CPI candidate Bennet Abraham, a doctor by profession, and veteran BJP leader O. Rajagopal.