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Five arrested in ‘PayCM’ poster campaign case

A day after the ‘PayCM’ poster campaign, aimed at highlighting the alleged corruption in the ruling BJP government created a furore, five persons, including some belonging to the social media cell of the Congress, were arrested on Wednesday night.

Congress leaders, including Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, condemned it and demanded their immediate release. It also generated heat in the legislature.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB), along with the Sadashivanagar and High Grounds police, stepped up investigation based on the directions of the Chief Minister and arrested B.R. Naidu, who heads social media cell, and others including Pawan, Gagan, Sanjay, and Vishwanath. Three more have been detained for questioning, a senior police officer, who is part of the investigation, said. The CCB officials are probing the case analysing the CCTV footage to identify the people who are part of the poster campaign.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had taken strong exception to the campaign, which according to him, was a “conspiracy by the Opposition” to demean him and the State. Posters captioned “PayCM” with Mr. Bommai’s photograph had surfaced in parts of Bengaluru on Wednesday. They resembled the design of electronic wallet, Paytm, with Mr. Bommai’s face in the middle of the QR code with the message “40% accepted here”, referring to corruption allegations against the BJP government.

The development comes in the midst of an aggressive campaign against the State government by the Congress, which charged it with corruption in awarding public contracts, raised by contractors’ association of Karnataka, and in recruitment to government jobs.

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