Karnataka voter id row: Election Commission lodges FIR against Congress MLA Munirathna

The Election Commission registered an FIR against Congress MLA Munirathna for electoral malpractice in the voter ID scam in Karnataka.

The Election Commission sent a deputy election commissioner as a 'special observer' to Karnataka after recovery of nearly 10,000 "fake" voter ID cards in Raj Rajeshwari Nagar Assembly.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Over one lakh slips resembling acknowledgement slips used for adding names to the electoral rolls were also found.

Meanwhile, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandrabhushan Kumar reached on Wednesday afternoon and talked to all stakeholders. The poll panel said it is yet to come decide whether it will go ahead with polls in the constituency as per schedule, CNN-News18 reported.

Citing details provided by the state poll machinery, sources told PTI that prima facie, some of the cards recovered seem original.

"Now, we have to ensure that genuine voters can cast their votes using voter slips distributed to electors. Also, the machinery has to ensure that no voter is intimidated", an official said.

The recovery of the 'fake' voter cards prompted the BJP to demand countermanding of the election. The saffron party claimed Congress was behind the racket, a charge dismissed the latter dismissed as a "lie".

Karnataka chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar, at a press conference, said that until now, two persons have been arrested. More arrests are likely and the case is already under investigation, Kumar added.

Kumar, late on Tuesday night, said 9,746 voter cards had been seized from a flat in the constituency. "In a surprise visit 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", Kumar said.

"We are trying to reach the truth at the earliest. However, one thing is certain that nobody has broken into our system and no new voter ID cards have been made", Kumar said.

He said the case was under observation and maintained that the cards were collected for a reason. "We have seized 9,896 cards", he said, reiterating that the voter ID cards seized were genuine.

With just three days left before Karnataka goes to polls, the BJP and Congress, the two main contenders, went after each other and claimed that the flat from where the cards were recovered belonged to a woman associated with their rivals.

Voting in 223 of the 225 Assembly constituencies of the state will be held on May 12. Votes will be counted on 15 May.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 10, 2018 18:41:15 IST

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