ECI initiates probe into allegations of voter data ‘theft’ by NGO

Deputy Election Commissioner was in Bengaluru to get first-hand information on the case

November 24, 2022 08:57 pm | Updated 08:57 pm IST - Bengaluru

A week after the controversy over alleged theft of voter data by Chilume Educational and Rural Development Trust with the alleged support of the State government, the Election Commission of India initiated an inquiry into it in Bengaluru.

ECI has deputed Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of Karnataka, Ajay Bhadoo, to Bengaluru on Wednesday. The official held a series of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with officials of the Chief Electoral Office and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to understand the ground reality of the alleged scam.

Series of meetings

Sources in the State Secretariat said that Mr. Bhadoo, a 1999-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, held a series of meetings for two days and left the city on Thursday evening.

It is learnt that Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka Manoj Kumar Meena, BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath and City Police Commissioner Pratap Reddy attended the meetings with Mr. Bhadoo.

Congress petition

On Wednesday, Congress submitted a petition to the ECI seeking an urgent investigation by the commission into alleged “large-scale electoral fraud, malpractice, and manipulation of voters’ list” in Bengaluru by the Karnataka BJP government. The Congress leaders demanded registration of an FIR against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, officials and employees of the BBMP, and government and officials of the private NGO Chilume Educational and Rural Development Institute.

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