Karnataka elections: RR Nagar Congress MLA, 13 others booked in ‘fake’ voter ID card case
BENGALURU: Police registered a criminal case against 14 people, including Congress sitting MLA and RR Nagar candidate N Munirathna, on Wednesday in connection with the seizure of nearly 10,000 voter ID cards from an apartment in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli area in the constituency, hours before deputy election commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar completed his investigation into the incident and sent a report to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
“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,” chief electoral officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar said on Thursday.
Munirathna said, “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.”
On the tenability of Munirathna’s candidature in the wake of him being named in the FIR, Sanjiv Kumar said mere naming of a person in an FIR does not bar him from contesting elections. “FIR is not the chargesheet and nor is it conviction. So, there is no bar on the person’s candidature,” he said.
Police said they have named the apartment owner Manjula Nanjamari and others as accused persons based on the complaint lodged by a BBMP official, who led a flying squad to check violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and raided the premises.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, Muniratna is accused no. 14. The other accused include seven women, including the tenant, Rekha. “All the suspects conspired, stored voter ID cards and committed an electoral malpractice,” MCC flying squad head Bhaskar JR said in his complaint.
Police have registered the case against the suspects under relevant sections of the Representation of the People Act and the IPC.