The Den: Ex-corporator’s son tries to clear air

Bengaluru: A day after a massive voter ID scandal rocked the state with nearly 10,000 Election Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) being seized from an apartment in Jalahalli, police have detained for questioning several people on charges of collecting voter IDs from the public by promising them money.

A political slugfest is underway with Congress alleging that the apartment belonged to former BJP corporator Manjula Nanjamari.  While Manjula was not available for comment, her son Sreedhar Nanjamari cleared the air about the flat 115, where the cards were seized. “A year ago, Rangaraju and his sister Rekha had rented a flat at the SLV Park View Apartment. They stayed together but last month, Rangaraju approached us for a separate flat for Rekha. Flat 115 was empty which we rented to her,” he said.

Sreedhar told Jalahalli police that neither he nor his mother visited the flat after renting it and were unaware of the goings on inside. “Both Rangaraju and Rekha are absconding,” police said.

The BJP claimed Manjula had joined the Congress, but her nephew Rakesh told DC that she was inactive in politics and did not identify with any party.

Meanwhile, Karnataka's Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said the cards were found wrapped in smaller packets and were inside two trunks. He said form 6A (Application for Inclusion of Name in Electoral Roll by an Overseas Elector) with a counterfoil with certain numbers were also found. He also said that the colour in the counterfoil appeared unusual. The commission went on to say that 5 laptops and a printer were also recovered from the apartment.

Theory 1
Politicians and party workers would have conducted a study on various vote banks. The EPIC would be collected by political party workers from voters and would not be given to them until the elections were over. This is done to ensure that certain sections are prevented from exercising their franchise. (for instance, eliminating votes of Muslims who usually do not vote for BJP or those of Brahmins who usually prefer BJP). In this manner, a certain section is prevented from voting.

Theory 2
After the study is conducted, the voters concerned will be prevented from voting. The political party will ensure their names are deleted from the electoral roll.

Those with vested interests may bring people from neighbouring states and accommodate them in makeshift huts until the elections are over. These ‘voters’ will be taken care of until the elections are over and sent back to their original places.

Theory 3
“Scamsters pay money to bogus voters to vote for the party and they are then nurtured by local party leaders. The election campaign of an MLA is outsourced to brokers, who pay cash to gullible voters in return for hefty commissions,” said a highly placed source. 

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