Voter ID scam: Voting In Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar deferred

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    The election to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituency has been postponed following the voter ID scam. Polling will now be held on May 28 and counting on May 31.

    Sanjeev Kumar

    The Election Commission order said it was imperative to defer the election for the time being so that the "vitiating effect of the distribution of money and gift items to the electors loses its intensity" and the ID cards were returned to the voters.

    "Every voter has freedom to cast his vote in a free and fair manner without facing any inducement. In this particular instance, free exercise of electoral rights has been compromised at a large scale in a systemic manner," the EC said.

    Last week, the poll body had seized 9,746 voter cards along with around one lakh counterfoils from a house in SLV Park View Apartments in RR Nagar.

    Sanjeev Kumar, chief electoral officer for Karnataka said initial investigation indicates the ~9700 cards "appear to be prima facie genuine" and only a thorough probe can determine if this is accurate.

    On Wednesday, a delegation of the BJP had met top Election Commission officials in Delhi and demanded to countermand the elections in Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly seat. The delegation was led by Union minister Smriti Irani. She said that they requested the EC to ensure free and fair elections in Karnataka, adding that the only way to reinstate confidence in the electorate is to countermand the elections in the constituency.

    Also a delegation of the Congress party had last evening visited the Election Commission office in the national capital. In a memorandum submitted to the EC, the party accused the BJP of trying to influence the elections in the southern state and also misusing the central agencies to malign its candidates.

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