In Row Over 10,000 IDs In Bengaluru Flat, Poll Body Says Can’t Scrap Vote

Bengaluru, Karnataka:  Polls in Bengaluru constituency where 10,000 voter ID cards were found in a flat cannot be cancelled, Election Commission sources have said, calling the demand “far-fetched”.

“Voters can vote even without voter ID by showing other proof. So just because of 9,000 cards found in that flat doesn’t warrant countermanding of polls,” sources have told NDTV.

The Election Commission has ordered an inquiry after nearly 10,000 voter ID cards were found in a Bengaluru apartment, which set off political sparring at midnight and demands by the BJP that voting in the constituency be cancelled before the Karnataka election on Saturday. The apartment is located in the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency of Bengaluru, one of the 223 constituencies where voting will be held.

In a late night press conference, the BJP alleged that the apartment was linked to a lawmaker of the state’s ruling Congress. The Congress hit back, accusing the BJP of enacting a “drama” of raiding an apartment owned by a local BJP leader and planting “fake evidence”.

Addressing a press conference around midnight, Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said two trunk-loads of counterfoil strips, which appeared to be the acknowledgement slips of the form used to add names of voters, were also found. But the forms were not the same colour as those used by the Election Commission, he said.

“After a surprise visit was paid 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,” said Mr Kumar.

“In next 24 hours we will get to know more facts based on which a firm decision will be taken,” he added.

In a tweet, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress of engineering the “conspiracy to rig election in face of their imminent defeat”.

Strongly rebutting the charges, the Congress, in a series of tweets, accused the BJP of an elaborate plan to discredit the ruling party.

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