The BJP on Friday said the Election Commission order deferring polls to the R R Nagar seat in Karnataka and registration of a case against the Congress candidate was a "clear indictment" of the ruling party in the state and proved that it was "using money power to influence the Karnataka polls".
The EC today ordered postponement of polling to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat to May 28. The decision comes days after nearly 10,000 voter identity cards were recovered from a flat in the constituency.
On the eve of the polling, Union minister Piyush Goyal, in a scathing attack on the Congress, alleged that the ruling party had resorted to corrupt practices to rig the elections.
He also said the BJP had asked the EC to seek one more proof of address from first-time voters, besides the voter ID card, to ensure that they are genuine voters.
"A desperate Congress has given up all hope of winning the elections and is resorting to most corrupt electoral practices to rig the state polls," Goyal told reporters here.
The minister termed the EC order postponing the polls to the R R Nagar constituency an "extraordinary" step.
"The EC and its special observers had detected specific instances of corrupt electoral practices and attempts at bribery. The poll panel has taken an extraordinary step to postpone the election in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat," Goyal said.
"We have also asked the EC to put out an advertisement asking voters not to get carried away by any inducement or coercion, and exercise their right in a free and fair manner," he said.
While the seizure was made in one seat, similar methods may have been adopted in other seats. The EC should conduct a probe across the state, he said.
"The seizure of 9,564 EPIC cards, photo voter slips, laptops, and other materials indicates there was a clear attempt to induce voters in a systematic and planned manner... it vitiates the election process," Goyal said citing the EC order.
He said the BJP had also asked the EC to take note of a similar malpractice in a neighbouring constituency, and alleged that the Congress was distributing money in Bedami, one of the seats from where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting.