Karnataka poll 2018: This is where BJP is claiming victory
Karnataka poll 2018: Taking cognisance of huge seizure of voter ID cards, photo voter slips, and survey forms of voters from an apartment in Jalahalli area as “definite inference” to induce voters, the Election Commission on Friday postponed the polling in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency from May 12 to May 28
Taking cognisance of huge seizure of voter ID cards, photo voter slips, and survey forms of voters from an apartment in Jalahalli area as “definite inference” to induce voters, the Election Commission on Friday postponed the polling in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency from May 12 to May 28. The counting will take place on May 31. The EC took the decision on the basis of the reports submitted by Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Chandra Bhushan Kumar, who was sent to Bangalore on May 9 to inquire into the incident and the Chief Electoral Officer of Bangalore.
The DEC, the EC said, submitted that the available material including EPICs, and survey reports in large scale do suggest a design to induce the voters in a particular manner at the level of parties. Besides the seizure of 9,564 electoral photo identity cards (EPIC), photo voters slips, and laptops, the DEC also mentioned specific cases of seizure of 5,018 T-shirts (with photo and name of candidate) and 23,395 half pants purportedly belonging to the Congress candidate.
“It can be inferred that the process of inducement is a planned strategy to vitiate the polls, started much before the date of notification, which is a serious cause of concern,” said the EC. “Since, it is impossible for the electoral machinery to ensure distribution of cards to genuine cards holders in less than 24 hours left before the poll, it is necessary for the EC to take the extraordinary step (postponement),” the EC said.
The EC said, it is an electoral offence under various sections of IPC and Representation of People’s Act and is punishable with imprisonment extending up to one year and fine and can also lead to disqualification of the candidate for six years.
The EC has ordered the electoral authorities to make a detailed list of voters whose EPIC cards were collected illegally and ensure redistribution of them seven days before the date of poll.
The BJP, which had claimed to have discovered the ID cards, called the Commission’s order a “victory of democracy”. It said the police case filed against the Congress candidate and sitting legislator Munirathna, described as the Congress’ moneybag, would land the state’s ruling party “in a soup”.
The Congress had earlier described the attempt to link the election ID cards to its candidate as a conspiracy.
(By Manan Kumar, DNA)