The Election Commission of Karnataka has ordered an inquiry into the incident where a huge number of voter ID cards were found at an apartment in Bengaluru ahead of the Karnataka polls.
Election Commission on Tuesday confirmed that they have recovered 9,746 Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) cards from an apartment in Bengaluru's Jalahalli area of Rajarajeshwarinagar constituency.
In a midnight briefing, Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka, said that the significance of the counterfoils can only be verified after due investigation.
"On preliminary investigation, these 9,746 EPIC cards are of actual electors and appear to be prima facie genuine. However, the significance of the counterfoils can only be verified after due investigation," Kapoor said.
The commission also said that an FIR was being filed to investigate the matter.
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.
Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Congress's Randeep Surjewala claimed that Manjula Nanjamuri, who owned the flat from where the identity cards were recovered, is a BJP leader and an ex-corporator.
He alleged that the Nanjamuri rented her own flat to his son Rakesh, who contested corporation election on a BJP ticket in 2015.
"Who is Manjula Nanjamuri? She is a BJP leader and an ex-corporator. Who did she rent this house to? To Rakesh, who is Manjula's son. He contested the corporation election on a BJP ticket in 2015 and lost to the Congress," Randeep Surjewala, communication in-charge of Congress, 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.
There are 435,439 electors in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency with an Elector Population (EP) ratio of 75:43. During the last Special Summary Revision, 25,825 additions were made and 19,012 additions were done during Continuous Updation and there has been a deletion of 8,817 voters.