Complaints of citizens being asked for their voter ID details

N. Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner. File   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Ahead of the Rajarajeshwarinagar bypoll, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is receiving complaints from citizens about people contacting them seeking sensitive information, such as their voter identity card number. There have also been instances where citizens have reportedly been asked to hand over the photo identity cards.

Revealing that he too had received some anonymous messages from citizens, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad, who is also the District Election Officer, stated categorically that those seeking such information from citizens, those forcing citizens to hand over their voter identity cards, and those collecting these cards could land in jail.

“According to the Representation of People’s Act, this is a punishable offence that attracts one-year jail term,” he said and added that stringent action would be initiated against those found to be indulging in such activities, irrespective of the political party or candidate.

Mr. Prasad also said that he had apprised City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant of the same. The election squads had been directed to be vigilant about such incidents. Citizens, he said, may contact the control room or the returning officer concerned to lodge complaints about such instances.

Incidentally, just days ahead of the Assembly polls in May 2018, more than 9,500 EPICs (electoral photo identity cards) were seized from an apartment in Jalahalli, coming under Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituency. Then, BJP’s candidate Munirathna was contesting from the constituency on Congress ticket. Following the seizure, the Election Commission had deferred the election to later the same month, citing it a necessity for free and fair election. The BJP’s candidate then Muniraju Gowda had pointed fingers at Mr. Munirathna and alleged that it was clearly a case of inducing voters. However, Mr. Munirathna won that election and later on defected to the BJP, necessitating the bypoll in the constituency.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prasad said of the 678 polling stations, 79 had been identified as critical and 11 as vulnerable. A total of 4.62 lakh people were eligible to cast their vote in the bypoll.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 2:44:02 PM |

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