An inquiry was ordered by the Election Commission after 9,746 voter ID cards were recovered from a Bengaluru apartment, located in the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency of Bengaluru, late Tuesday night.
Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar addressed a press conference around midnight and said two trunk-loads of counterfoil strips, which appeared to be the acknowledgement slips of the form used to add names of voters, were also found along with some laptops and a printer.
“After a surprise visit was paid to a flat in Jalahalli locality, nearly 9,746 voter ID cards were found. Five laptops and one printer was also found in the flat,” said Kumar.
“In next 24 hours we will get to know more facts based on which a firm decision will be taken,” he added.
“These may be numbering around a lakh. There is a need for further verification and inquiry. These have photographs and a printed number in magenta colour which is different than the officially available Form 6 which has no printed number,” Kumar said.
An FIR has been registered in the matter and the commission assured that strict action will be taken when more information is available.
Reacting to the major development, the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that the ruling Congress was trying to rig the polls and demanded that voting in the constituency be cancelled before the Karnataka election.
Addressing the late night press conference, the BJP alleged that the apartment was linked to a Congress lawmaker.
“Congress is losing public support and they are trying hard to rig the upcoming elections in Karnataka by undemocratic ways. So, we demand countermanding of polls in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told media.
On the other hand, the Congress has accused the BJP of enacting a “drama”.
“BJP enacted this drama in an apartment belonging to their own leader, Manjula Nanjamari. She has rented the apartment to her son Mr Rakesh who contested the 2015 BBMP (local) elections on a BJP ticket. Apartment was not raided by police or EC but by BJP workers,” said Congress’s Randeep Singh Surjewala.
BJP has denied any links with Manjula as Javadekar told the media that Manjula Nanjamur left BJP six years ago and alleged that she was a Congress member now.
Polling in the Karnataka Assembly election 2018 will take place on May 12, while the counting will be held on May 15.