R R Nagar poll put off to May 28

R R Nagar poll put off to May 28

The Election Commission has postponed polling in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituency in view of the recent recovery of 9,564 voter identity cards from a flat in Jalahalli in Bengaluru.

The polling in R R Nagar will now be held on May 28. The votes will be counted on May 31, the Election Commission ordered on Friday.

The EC also ordered that the returning officer of R R Nagar, the District Election Officer of Bengaluru Urban and the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka would ensure return of the seized ID cards to voters at least seven days before polling in the constituency.

The election commission ordered the Bengaluru police commissioner to ensure strict action against the culprits.

The commission stated that it would send a special team of observers to monitor the election expenses of all the candidates contesting the R R Nagar seat as well as to oversee polling in the constituency.

The EC on Friday noted that conduct of free and fair poll in the R R Nagar constituency would not be possible if the ongoing electoral process was allowed to proceed and polling was held on Saturday. “(The) commission further considers (that) it (is) imperative to defer the poll for the time being so that the vitiating effect of the distribution of money and gift items to the electors of the constituency loses its intensity, seized EPIC (Electors Photo Identity Cards) are returned to voters to infuse confidence among them and a more congenial atmosphere conducive to the conduct of free and fair elections is created,” Chief Election Commissioner O P rawat and Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Arora, stated in a 12-page order issued on Friday.

The EC stated that it had received many complaints about the distribution of money, gift items and other materials in R R Nagar constituency after the announcement of the poll-schedule for Karnataka. Several gift items had been seized by the flying squads and static surveillance teams, it noted. The EC on Friday said that it had asked CEO Sanjiv Kumar and Bengaluru police commissioner T Suneel Kumar to visit the flat. The EC’s general, police and expenditure observers too visited the flat.