The Bengaluru Police have filed a first information report against 14 people, including Congress MLA N Munirathna, in connection with the confiscation of about 10,000 voter ID cards from a flat in the city’s Jalahalli locality, The Times of India reported on Friday. Jalahalli is part of the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly seat.
On May 8, officers of the Election Commission raided the apartment and seized 9,896 Electoral Photo Identification Cards. They also found more than one lakh counterfoils resembling acknowledgment slips of “Form 6”, which is used to include new names in electoral rolls.
Munirathna, who is also the Congress candidate in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, claimed that the FIR was part of a “concerted propaganda to harass and humiliate” him. “I have distributed 40,000 pamphlets asking for votes for me in my constituency and you will find them in every home in my segment,” Munirathna said. “I have been named as accused number 14 because one such pamphlet was found in the flat that was raided. This is an outrageous complaint.”
The FIR also names the apartment owner Manjula Nanjamuri, her tenant Rekha and 11 other people. The police have not yet arrested any one in connection with the case.
Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said the Election Commission of India was considering multiple reports and would soon decide on countermanding the polls in the constituency, Deccan Herald reported.
The confiscation of the voter IDs has triggered a bitter battle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. While the BJP has accused the ruling Congress of electoral fraud, alleging that visiting cards and stickers of an incumbent Congress MLA were found in the apartment, the Congress accused the Opposition party of attempting to discredit it.