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Midnight Drama After EC Seizes 9,746 Voter IDs From Bengaluru Flat

Just days before Karnataka goes to polls, the BJP and the Congress accused each other of trying to ‘rig’ elections.

Updated
India
3 min read

With just days before Karnataka goes to polls, the Election Commission revealed in a late night press briefing that it has found 9,746 voter ID cards from an apartment in Jalahalli area, Bengaluru.

Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka, late Tuesday night said prima facie all voter ID cards appeared to be genuine. Five laptops and a printer were found in the house as well, he added.

An FIR has been registered, and further investigations will be conducted. The situation is being closely monitored by the Election Commission. Appropriate action will be taken.
Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka 

“There were two large steel trunks with counterfoil strips resembling acknowledgement slips of Form 6 used for addition of names into the electoral rolls. These have photographs and a printed number in magenta colour. This is different from the officially available Form 6 which has no printed number,” he said.

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The electoral officer added that the situation required more investigation, and would take some time to comment with clarity.

What followed was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress exchanging barbs late Tuesday night.

BJP Demands Countermanding of Elections in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar

The BJP claimed that the Congress was “pressurising officers to enrol false names” and was engaged in other practices to rig the elections. Further, the party demanded that the polls in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru should be countermanded as the Congress was “rigging” the elections.

Apartment Where Voter IDs Were Found Belong to Ex-BJP Leader: Congress

The Congress, however, hit back at the BJP’s allegations, pointing out that the owner of the apartment (flat no. 115), from where the voter ID cards were recovered, belonged to former BJP corporator, Manjula Nanjamuri.

Who is Manjula Nanjamuri? She is a BJP leader and ex-corporator. Who did she rent this house to? To Rakesh, who is Manjula’s son. He contested the corporation election on a BJP ticket in 2015 and lost to the Congress.
Randeep Surjewala, Spokesperson, Congress

However, reacting to the Congress’s allegations, one Sridhar Nanajamari, who claims to be the ‘only son of Manjula Nanjamari’ said that Rakesh was a relative and has no connection with the flat in question.

I am the only son of Manjula Nanjamari. Rakesh is my mother’s nephew’s son and he has no connection with the flat in Park View apartment, as is what claimed in media.

Sridhar also alleged that the flat had been rented to a man named Rangaraju, who pays rent for it every month.

The Congress further alleged that the ‘drama’ had been staged by the BJP, and the IDs were recovered by workers belonging to the party, and not by the EC or the police.

Surjewala also questioned how the BJP could claim that the Congress had any involvement with the 9,746 voter IDs, especially since the apartment where they were found, belonged to a former BJP corporator.

The BJP is seeking attention by levelling allegations. The BJP is doing midnight drama as if the Congress has something to do with the recovery of these 9,746 voter ID cards.
Randeep Surjewala, Spokesperson, Congress

‘Congress Blaming BJP Without Any Substance’

In response to Surjewala alleging that the apartment belonged to Nanjamuri, and that she had rented it out to her son Rakesh, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the person had nothing to do with the BJP anymore, and reiterated their demand to countermand elections in Sri Raj Rajeswhari Nagar.

He also claimed that a large stash of money was recovered from Badami, which is Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s constituency, noting that a special officer should be deployed in the constituency.

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In Badami, where Siddaramaiah is contesting, a huge amount of cash was recovered. This is a shocking incident. So, the Election Commission should put up special election officer in Badami, and they should deploy more paramilitary forces. 
Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister

JD(S): Both Congress and BJP Using Unethical Means in Polls

The JD(S), meanwhile, appealed to the EC that there be “no compromise with free and fair elections”.

We appeal to the EC that there should be no compromise with free and fair elections. It is a serious matter. All unethical means are being adopted by both national parties.
Danish Ali, JD(S)

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