Congress, JD(S) MLCs faked info to vote in mayoral poll: probe

Congress, JD(S) MLCs faked info  to vote in mayoral poll: probe
Eight MLCs, including Congress’ R B Timmapur who is a strong contender for a ministerial berth, are found to have submitted false information to vote in Bengaluru mayoral election last year.

A “factual report” submitted by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), found that the MLCs submitted false information to get their names included in the Bengaluru electoral rolls and vote in the mayoral election last year. The Election Commission had directed the civic body to probe the matter based on a complaint by BJP leader in the BBMP Council Padmanabha Reddy. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad submitted the report on Tuesday. DH accessed a copy of the report.

Besides, the BBMP report has also found that these MLCs had given false information to the Karnataka Legislative Council to claim lakhs of rupees as travelling allowance by submitting fake bills, as charged by Reddy. Timmapur, Allum Veerabhadrappa, Raghu Achar, N S Boseraju, S Ravi (all Congress), C R Manohar and Appaji Gowda (JD-S) and M D Lakshminarayana (Independent) are the eight MLCs.

Reddy had accused these legislators of misleading the Upper House to claim travel allowance. They had furnished an address in their home towns as proof of residence for claiming the allowance, despite officially registering themselves as residents of Bengaluru. The law makers are accused of claiming a total of Rs 37 lakh as allowance. Reddy had demanded that the eight legislators be disqualified as MLCs.

For instance, Timmapur, who is said to have been shortlisted by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to be inducted in the council of ministers, had enrolled himself as a voter in Bengaluru city limits on August 22, 2016. After the mayoral poll in September 2016, Timmapur claimed travel allowance from the Council with Bagalkot as his ordinary address.

“If we consider the address given to the Constitutional Authority (Legislative Council) is true, then he has submitted false information that he is ordinary resident in Bengaluru to get inclusion in the Bengaluru electoral roll (sic),” the report observes. Timmapur’s Form-6 (application for inclusion in electoral roll) was incomplete, the report notes, and that he submitted a Form-7 (application for deletion) in January 2017.

Similarly, Veerabhadrappa claimed allowance claiming Ballari as his ordinary address, Lakshminarayana as Turuvekere, Manohar as Kolar, Boseraju as Raichur, Gowda as Mandya, Ravi as Ramanagaram and Raghu Achar as Chitradurga. “If we consider the address given to the Constitutional Authority is true, then he has submitted false information that he is ordinary resident in Bengaluru to get inclusion in the Bengaluru electoral roll,” the report observes in the case of each MLC.

In some cases, the BBMP probe found procedural lapses in the inclusion of names of the MLCs.

When contacted, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said: “If there is any wrongdoing, it must have been allowed by the electoral registration officer.” When asked if this could lead to the disqualification of the MLCs, Jha said he was yet to see the report.

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