Karnataka polls: Over 9,000 voter IDs seized from Bengaluru house; updates

Three days before Karnataka Assembly election 2018, a ‘fake’ voter ID row has erupted in the poll-bound state, with BJP and Congress accusing each other of involvement. Catch all the update here

Just three days before Karnataka Assembly election 2018, the Election Commission of Karnataka on Tuesday confirmed that its officials recovered 9,746 Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) from an apartment in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area of the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency. Reacting to the development, the BJP demanded cancellation of polling in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, accusing the Congress of trying to “rig” the polls. Congress hit back, saying that a BJP leader was the owner of the Bengaluru flat from where the ‘fake’ voter cards had been found.

The development came hours after former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced off against each other while campaigning in Karnataka. The prime minister and the UPA chairperson attacked each other with stinging barbs, with Modi accusing Gandhi and her son (Congress President) Rahul Gandhi of destroying Congress to save the “dynasty”, and Gandhi saying Modi’s speeches alone could not “fill empty stomachs”.

Polling in the Karnataka Assembly election 2018 will be held on May 12 and the results will be out on May 15.

Here are the top 10 developments around the ‘fake’ voter id issue in Karnataka and the Karnataka Assembly election 2018 campaign:

1) Nearly 10,000 voter IDs seized from a Bengaluru flat: The Election Commission of Karnataka on Tuesday confirmed that they recovered 9,746 electors photo identity cards from an apartment in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area, which falls under the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency. In a midnight briefing on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar said that according to the preliminary verification, the ID cards were of actual electors and appeared to be prima facie genuine.

According to the state election commission, the voter ID cards were kept neatly in small bundles that were wrapped in paper, with some names and phone numbers on the paper.

The recovery was made during a surprise visit to Parkview apartment in Jalahalli area, which belongs to Manjula Nanjamuri and was allegedly rented to a person named Rakesh.

Apart from the IDs, five laptops, one printer, and two large steel trunks with counterfoil strips resembling acknowledgement slips of Form 6 used for addition of names onto the electoral rolls were also recovered from the apartment during the raid. Kumar added that the significance of the counterfoils can only be verified after due investigation.

“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.

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