Bengaluru:The Election Commission of India filed a first information report (FIR) early after over 9,000 voter ID cards and counterfoils were found in an apartment in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area ahead of the May 12 assembly polls, sparking off a political slugfest between the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“An FIR is being registered after nearly 9,746 voter cards were found in a flat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency along with around one lakh counterfoils resembling acknowledgement slips used for addition of names into electoral rolls,” the state’s chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters .
Kumar said he went to the flat owned by a person called Manjula Nanjamuri after media reports and a decision would be taken after an investigation.
“… We found 9,746 EPIC photo identity cards wrapped in small bundles bearing names, addresses and phone numbers. We have found five laptops which have photographs of a candidate,” he said.
Kumar said as per the preliminary verification the ID cards are of actual electors and appear to be genuine. He, however, added that the significance of the counterfoils can only be verified after due investigation.
One printer and two large steel trunks with counterfoils strips resembling acknowledgement slips of Form 6 used for new addition of names onto the electoral rolls were also recovered from the apartment during the raid.
“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.
“Further investigation will be conducted into the matter and will be closely monitored by the EC,” he said.
Both the Congress and the BJP levelled charges against each other over the seizures.
Union ministers Ananth Kumar and Prakash Javadekar said the BJP suspected senior Congress leaders of being involved in the incident.
“We demand that the ECI countermand the elections. Munirathna Naidu, the RR Nagar Congress candidate, who says he is inspired by chief minister Siddaramaiah, was behind this,” minister Kumar said.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.
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