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BJP, Congress spar at Election Commission on ‘fake’ voter IDs in Bengaluru

Posted in S. Asia

Published on May 12, 2018 with No Comments

 

“Consider myself under BJP’s ‘sharan’; I am not a Congress person”

Manjula Nanjamari—in whose Bengaluru house more than 9,000 voter ID cards were found—has been quoted by media in India News as saying “Consider myself under BJP’s ‘sharan’; I am not a Congress person”

Manjula Nanjamari—in whose Jalahalli, Bengaluru house more than 9,000 voters ID cards has been quoted by media in India as saying—has been quoted by ANI News as saying she is not a Congress person. “From 1997-2002 I was a corporator, and BJP helped me win. I was just a house wife and BJP supported me, so I consider myself under their ‘sharan’. I am not a Congress person, will never be,”.  Both Nanjamari and her son Sridhar said reports of her nephew Rakesh staying in her flat were false. “The tenants are Rekha and Rangaraju, this is fake news that Rakesh (BJP Supporter who Congress alleged was tenant of Bengaluru flat where 9,746 voter IDs were seized) is the tenant. They took the place on rent on April 5 saying they just wanted place to dump some of their office stuff.”

BJP and Congress have moved the Election Commission (EC) in Delhi blaming each other over  recovery of 9,896 “fake” voter ID cards from a flat in poll-bound Karnataka’s Rajrajeshwari Nagar constituency. The BJP’s delegation, led by a battery of Union Ministers, demanded that the election in that seat be countermanded. The Congress team, led by Anand Sharma, said it is a BJP-engineered drama in Karnataka, where polling will take place on May 12. EC’s flying squad seized the cards  following a tip-off, sparking a slugfest among Congress, BJP and JD(S), with demands that election in that seat in Bengaluru be postponed and an inquiry be set up.

EC seized nearly 10,000 voter identity cards. After raiding an apartment at SLV Park View Apartment, Jalahalli, the flying squad seized voter cards, voters’ slips, copier machines and five laptops. The seizure included 9,896 EPIC cards, 6,342 voter application acknowledgement receipts with BBMP seal, among other things. Some BJP workers had raided the flat earlier in the day claiming something was amiss. A late night drama saw post-midnight press conferences by political parties and Karnataka’s chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar, who had visited the flat.

The BJP alleged local Congress MLA Munirathna Naidu was involved in the racket to print “fake voter ids.” However, EC officials said “most of the seized EPIC cards seemed to be genuine” and it seemed that efforts were made to influence vulnerable voters. However, no fake id cards have been created by breaking into the system. “This seems to be the philosophy of the Congress, if real voters don’t vote for you, creates fake voters,” said Union Human Resources minister Prakash Javadekar.

He alleged that the Congress is trying to rig the polls by registering voters from outside. The BJP has demand immediate countermanding of elections, a probe and arrest of flat owner Manjula (Nanjamari).

AICC secretary Yashomati Thakur said Nanjamari was an ex-BJP corporator from Jalahalli, who had rented the flat to nephew-cum-adopted son Rakesh, who had fought the 2015 civic polls as a BJP nominee. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the apartment was raided by BJP workers and evidence had been planted.

Nanjamari said while Rakesh was her relative, they had no contact due to strained ties. Javadekar said Manjula was with the BJP earlier, but was not active in the party for 10 years. He added Rakesh, who denied any relationship with Nanjamari, was a BJP worker, who was the whistle-blower. Despite the BJP’s claims that she was with the Congress, Nanjamari said she remained a BJP loyalist.

The Jalahalli police, who are investigating the case, arrested six people for assaulting protesting BJP and JDS workers and reportedly detained 10 people in the voter id case. Chethan Singh Rathor, deputy commissioner of Police (North) could not be contacted for comments. JD (S) legislator Ramesh Babu too demanded countermanding of the elections and alleged that Naidu had purchased the ID cards from genuine voters.

SEO release stated, “Prima facie, the entire seizure material under the circumstances gives an indication of planned work over a period of time to survey and locate the vulnerable electors and induce the electors through middle man”.

 

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