Poll panel sends special observer to Karnataka to probe seizure of voter ID cards


New Delhi, May 9: The Election Commission on Wednesday sent a special observer to Karnataka to probe the seizure of over 9,000 voter ID cards and counterfoils from an apartment in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area in the poll-bound state, an official said.
“The Election Commission received an email from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and a delegation of Congress leaders also submitted a memorandum on Wednesday about the incident. So a special observer has been dispatched to conduct a probe and submit a report,” the official aware of the developments said.
The report is expected by Wednesday night or early on Thursday, the official added.
The state’s chief election officer confirmed the recovery of the voter ID cards from a flat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency but the commission is waiting for a formal report on the issue.
Both the Congress and the BJP levelled charges against each other over the seizures ahead of the May 12 assembly polls.
The BJP’s president Amit Shah accused the Congress of trying to win the elections on the basis of bogus voter cards and money.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the BJP has demanded an immediate countermand of Rajarajeshwari elections, a thorough investigation by cybersecurity department’s personnel and the immediate arrest of Manjula Nanjamuri, from whose flat the cards were seized.
A BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan will meet officials of the poll body at 6pm.
The Congress, on its part, said the raid was stage managed by the opposition party in the state.
Party leader Anand Sharma, who went to meet the poll panel’s officials on Wednesday with the memorandum, said the flat belonging to a BJP leader was raided not by the poll body or police but the supporters of the saffron party. He added that the flat’s tenant was also a leader of the BJP.
Sharma also alleged that the BJP is using cash and resources to influence voters and the elections. (Courtesy: HT)