Two out of the eight MLCs who were reported to have submitted false information to the Election Commission during the 2016 Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) mayoral polls are eligible to vote this year, too.
Eight MLCs from the Congress and the JD(S) had reportedly misled the mayoral polls in 2016, and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad had submitted a report on this to the Election Commission just before the 2017 mayoral polls in August.
Eight MLCs — R B Thimmapur, Allum Veerabhadrappa, N Appaji Gowda, Raghu Achar, N S Boseraju, C R Manohar, S Ravi and M D Lakshminarayana — had submitted false information, claiming they were residents of Bengaluru too, though they were residents from other cities.
Two from that list, Raghu Achar of the Congress and C R Manohar of the JD(S), have made their way into this year’s list, too. DH has accessed a copy of the list. The names of the remaining MLCs do not figure in the list. They are off the voting process.
Interestingly, some of the eight MLCs had also claimed travel allowance from the BBMP council for commuting from their place to the city to cast votes. The bills had run up to Rs 37 lakh. This was also mentioned in the report submitted by the commissioner.
For instance, Thimmapur had enrolled himself as a voter in Bengaluru city limits but with Bagalkot as original address; Veerabhadrappa had claimed from Ballari and C R Manohar from Kolar and so on. It has to be noted that the voters have to be from Bangalore to exercise franchise.
Last year’s elections were boycotted by BJP leaders after the incident came to light. This time, opposition party leader Padmanabha Reddy will move the court against the false information provided.
“Jairam Ramesh, who is the think tank of Congress, has his nodal constituency at Chikkamagalur, V S Ugrappa as Tumakuru and C R Manohar from Kolar district. Yet, how does their conscience allow to cast votes in Bangalore,” asked Reddy. He said that once their party consents, they will approach the court regarding this. During the mayoral elections, it is not only the elected corporators of the city who get to cast votes but also the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MLAs, MLCs and MPs. The total strength of the council is 259 this year. This year’s polls will be held on September 28.