Voter IDs in flat: Congress shows photo of ‘tenant’ with BJP candidate

Late on May 8 night, BJP Union Minister Sadananda Gowda claimed to have discovered thousands of voter IDs in a flat in Jalahalli, Bengaluru; then Congress said the flat belonged to a BJP member

Voter IDs in flat: Congress shows photo of ‘tenant’ with BJP candidate

NH Web Desk

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday urged the Election Commission to countermand the Assembly election in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar segment of the city's southwest suburb after about 10,000 allegedly fake voter IDs were allegedly found in the locality.

Late on May 8 night, BJP Union Minister Sadananda Gowda claimed to have personally visited and discovered thousands of voter IDs in a flat in Jalahalli, Bengaluru.

Union HRD Minister and the party's in-charge for the state polls Prakash Javadekar was quick to chime in with the demand to countermand elections in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, tweeting that “in light of latest revelations of tens of thousands of fake voter IDs and empty packets of hard currency; This is Congress conspiracy to rig election in the face of their imminent defeat".

EC conducts “surprise” raid in flat, files FIR and addresses press conference with prepared press statement

Within a short while of Gowda’s accusation, the state's Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar held a press conference and confirmed that 9,746 voter cards were seized from a flat in Rajarajeshwari constituency.

Kumar claimed that the cards were found after a "surprise” visit was paid to a flat in Jalahalli locality, adding that five laptops and one printer was also found in the flat. There were over a lakh slips resembling acknowledgement slips used for adding names into the electoral rolls, the CEO said.

"On preliminary verification, these voter ID cards were found to be genuine, but the counterfoils need to be verified through investigation." The EC will register a First Information Report (FIR) on the matter and would take action after investigation, Kumar added.

Kumar also said that three observers from the poll panel had already gone to visit the flat. Kumar himself, the District Election Officer M Maheshwar Rao and the city Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar had visited the location.

After the EC press conference, the BJP’s chorus to countermand the election in the seat became even more shrill. Then the Congress called its own press conference.

Congress shows photo at press conference of ‘flat tenant’ Rakesh with BJP MLA candidate

Congress called a press conference shortly after the EC’s conference ended. Spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the flat where the voter IDs were found belonged to a BJP leader.

"BJP enacted this drama in an apartment belonging to their own leader Manjula Nanjamari. She has rented the apartment to her son who contested the 2015 BBMP (Bengaluru civic body) elections on a BJP ticket," Surjewala alleged.

Surejewala pointed out that the flat were the voter IDs were found was raided not by police or EC, but by BJP workers.

Javadekar then called a press conference of his own and claimed that Manjula was not a part of BJP as she left the party 6 years ago and joined Congress. He alleged that Congress was “lying” that Manjula was a BJP member.

However, Congress quickly called another press conference, showing a photograph of ‘flat tenant’ Rakesh, who the party said was Manjula’s son, along with the BJP candidate for the constituency Muniraj Gowda.

Congress produces news reports mentioning BJP's Manjula Nanjamuri, sitting corporator of HMT ward in Jalahalli and list of BJP corporation candidates 2015 which includes Rakesh as BJP candidate from Jalahalli constituency

On Tuesday morning, Surjewala said “these are news reports (in pic) pointing out prominent losers of the corporation polls and it mentions BJP's Manjula Nanjamuri, sitting corporator of HMT ward, who contested from Jalahalli where flat no. 115 is situated. BJP leadership said M Nanjamuri's son Rakesh, who EC says was a tenant of flat no 115 where all these cards were found, also didn't belong to BJP. I have list of BJP corporation candidates 2015 & at no.16, you find Rakesh to be BJP candidate from Jalahalli constituency”.

The EC’s investigation continues.

With inputs from IANS

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Published: 09 May 2018, 8:56 AM