BENGALURU: Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Chandra Bhushan Kumar arrived in Bengaluru from New Delhi late in the night to hold meetings with EC officials here, to be briefed about the probe into the seizure of 9,896 voter ID cards from a flat in Jalahalli in Rajarajeshwarinagar assembly constituency. The DEC is scheduled to meet representatives from BJP and JD(S) — who have demanded countermanding of RR Nagar poll — and Congress to get a clear picture about allegations and counter allegations over the seizure, which indicated an attempt to subvert free and fair elections.
The Chief Election Commissioner (Karnataka) Sanjiv Kumar said DEC was in Bengaluru to take a final call on the countermanding of polls of RR Nagar constituency after taking stock of the seizure of EPIC cards and also hear the representations of political parties demanding countermanding of polls. The DEC’s visit is in response to a detailed report Kumar submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the matter today. However, he did not divulge the contents of the report. But when media persons asked him whether he has recommended ECI to countermand polls, he said “Let us not jump to conclusions. The DEC is arriving to take a final call quickly.”
Kumar, however, said the preliminary inquiry revealed that all 9,896 epic cards seized were genuine and some of them were older while a few were newer. Those were systematically collected from slums and kept for “some purpose”.
He explained that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) Flying Squad found the EPIC cards scattered all over the room in the flat in Jalahalli, along with voter slips, three malfunctioning copier machines, five laptops, nine mobile phones, and other documents such as PAN cards, ATM cards, driving licences and visiting cards.
A total number of 9,896 EPIC cards, 6,342 voter application acknowledgement receipt with BBMP seal, and another 20,700 acknowledgement receipts without BBMP seals were also seized.
TWO PERSONS ARRESTED
All the material has been seized and investigation is going on headed by senior police officers under the supervision of ECI.Two persons have been arrested in connection with the case registered for violation of model code of conduct, said Sanjiv Kumar.Prima facie, the entire seizure material under the circumstances gave an indication of a planned work over a period of time to survey and locate the vulnerable electors.
“The matter is serious, which needs to be investigated further,” Kumar said.
JD(S) SECOND IN USE OF COPTERS IN CAMPAIGN:
Among 19,767 vehicle permissions were granted for campaign of political parties, 193 permissions were granted for use of helicopter to all three parties. JD(S) stood in the second place getting 42 permissions for use of helicopter, after BJP which has 101 permissions. The Congress comes third with 39, said Sanjiv Kumar.
Congress corporator, 5 others held for assault on BJP workers
Jalahalli police have arrested six persons, including a BBMP corporator, for allegedly assaulting BJP workers when they raided a flat to find thousands of voter IDs. All the six were produced before the court and released on bail. BBMP Yeshwantpur ward’s Congress corporator G K Venkatesh, his associate Raghu, Mohan, Manjunath, Kiran and Sunanda are the arrested persons. Police sources said all the accused had allegiance to the Congress party and have been booked for assault, rioting and intimidation. “The arrests were based on the complaint filed by a BJP worker. He stated that when he along with other BJP workers raided the flat in SLV Park View apartment at Sharadambha Nagar in Jalahalli following the tip-off about alleged election irregularities, the Congress workers allegedly assaulted the BJP workers.