Sitting Congress MLA Munirathna Naidu from RR Nagar (Bengaluru) has been booked by the police in connection with the seizure of a huge trove of voter ID cards from the city, with just two days to go before the Karnataka polls.
This development was by confirmed Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar in a press conference on Thursday evening .
He has been booked under Sections 120B, 171E, 171F, 188 read with Section 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 123, 125, 127A, 135A(1)C of the Representation of People Act.
The charges include criminal conspiracy, bribery, undue influence or personation at an election and disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that the case is being investigated by a Deputy Commissioner of Police-ranked officer.
The Jalahalli Police has named Munirathna Naidu as the fourteenth accused in the case, two days after 9,746 voter IDs were discovered from an apartment in Jalahalli. The seizure of the voter cards was announced by Sanjiv Kumar himself in a late-night press conference on Tuesday.
Two people have been arrested so far in the case.
Addressing reporter on Wednesday, Kumar had said that prima facie this was an attempt of “cash for votes”.
“The ID cards belonged to people living in slums. The cards of members of each slum were stacked together, with the name of one person on each stack along with their phone numbers of the said people. We suspect that they had taken the voters IDs after giving cash,” he said.
Kumar also said that several survey forms were found along with PAN cards, drivers licences, phone numbers and details of pension plans.
“IDs were systematically collected from various slums. Their house photos were also collected. The persons involved were preying on vulnerable people. This is a very serious matter. Two people have been arrested and more arrests will be made soon,” he added.
The issue had so far resulted in a war of wars between the ruling Congress and the BJP with both the parties accusing the involvement of the other