Karnataka MLCs faked documents to vote in BBMP polls, BJP seeks disqualification
Eight Karnataka MLCs including six from the Congress have been nailed in a report for providing false information to vote in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike elections. The same MLCs have been found to have given fake bills to the Karnataka legislative council to claim travel allowance causing a loss of Rs 37 lakh to the exchequer. The BJP has not sought disqualification of all the accused MLCs.
A report submitted by the BBMP to the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka accuses the MLCs of submitting false information to enrol themselves as voters in Bengaluru. R B Timmapur, Allum Veerabhadrappa, Raghu Achar, N S Boseraju, S Ravi from the Congress, C R Manohar and Appaji Gowda from the JD(S) and M D Lakshminarayana, an independent who supports the Congress have been accused of submitting fake documents to identify themselves as residents of Bengaluru to vote in the Mayoral elections. The investigation into the matter was ordered after BJP leader in BBMP Council Padmanabha Reddy filed a complaint.
According to BBMP's findings, all 8 MLCs submitted false information claiming to be residents of Bengaluru but contradicted themselves by submitting travel claims running into Rs 37 lakh to the Legislative council. The documents submitted to claim travel allowance indicate that the MLCs belong to different districts and needed to travel to and fro Bengaluru for committee meetings etc.
Congress MLC Timmapur, who is a frontrunner to be inducted into the Siddaramaiah cabinet, enrolled as voter in Bengaluru on August 22, 2016, but after the Mayoral elections in September 2016, he claimed travel allowance from the Legislative Council indicating Bagalkot as his ordinary address. Another MLC, Veerabhadrappa enrolled as a voter in Bengaluru ahead of the BBMP polls but claimed travel allowance from Ballari as his address. The report observes that if the documents submitted to enrol as a voter in Bengaluru is true, then the MLCs have lied to the Legislative council and if the documents submitted to the council is true then they have hoodwinked the election commission of India to enrol as voters for BBMP.
The report has been submitted to the election commission that is currently scrutinising the same. MLCs will face disqualification if the election commission concludes that they have violated the Representation of People Act
BJP seeks disqualification of accused MLCs
The BJP has sought disqualification of eight Karnataka MLCs including six from the Congress in a fake document and Rs 37-lakh fake bills scam. The BJP submitted a memorandum to Governor Vaju Bhai Vala alleging that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) report had nailed the "criminal activity" of all eight MLAs during the BBMP elections last year.
"We have submitted a memorandum to the Governor stating that eight MLCs, six from the Congress and two from JD(S), enrolled as voters in BBMP elections with malafide intentions. They have given false information and voted in the BBMP polls. They don't live in Bengaluru and are residents of Bagalkot, Ballari etc. They have claimed travel allowances for committee meetings from the government, thus by their own admission, have proven that they have committed a criminal offence. They have violated the provisions of the public representative's act. They have to be imprisoned and fined apart from being disqualified from MLC posts," said leader of Opposition and BJP leader Jagadish Shettar said.
"We have asked the Governor not to allow Timmapur to become a minister in the cabinet after committing a criminal offence, Fake documents have been produced fraudulently," Shettar added. The BJP has urged the governor to disqualify all the MLCs for cheating the government and the people.
The BBMP's report has come as ammo to the BJP that was struggling to find an issue to raise against the Congress government in Karnataka.