Bengaluru: A sitting Congress MLA and RR Nagar constituency candidate N Munirathna was mentioned in the case registered by the police on Wednesday in connection with the fake voter IDs that were seized in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. A total of 9,746 voter IDs were seized during a raid. The case was registered after an investigation was held and a report was filed to the Election Commission by deputy election commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar.
Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar yesterday said, “Multiple reports are with ECI for its consideration… It will be inappropriate to talk about the issue at this stage. More definitive information will be provided in public at an appropriate time.” The accused Munirathna said, as quoted by the Times of India, “I’ve distributed 40,000 pamphlets asking for votes for me in my constituency and you will find them in every home in my segment.
“I’ve been named as accused no. 14 because one such pamphlet was found in the flat that was raided. This is an outrageous complaint against me and part of the concerted propaganda to harass and humiliate me.”
The CEO said that Munirathna’s candidature is still valid as an FIR does not mean that the person is barred from the election process. He said, “FIR is not the chargesheet and nor is it conviction. So, there is no bar on the person’s candidature.” In the complaint filed by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) official, police have named the owner of the apartment from where the fake voter IDs were seized. Manjula and others are also accused in the FIR.
The BBMP officials had raided the apartment when they were on a check of violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) of the elections. The head of the MMC squad Bhaskar JR said, while filing the complaint, “All the suspect conspired, stored voter ID cards and committed an electoral malpractice.” According to the FIR, there are seven women accused in the case.