K’taka voter ID scam: Main accused grilled, Cong to approach CEC

In the alleged voter ID scandal linked to the BJP government, the police continued grilling the main accused Ravi Kumar, the founder of Chilume Institution, on Monday.

Ravi Kumar is allegedly linked to one of the powerful ministers in the BJP government.

With the Halasuru Gate police arresting him, the number of arrested persons in the case rose to five. The police had arrested staffers Renukaprasad, Dharmesh, director Kempe Gowda, Prajwal from the e-procurement department of Chilume institution.

Ravi Kumar had gone missing after the police cracked down on his organization, accused by the Congress of stealing voters’ data on the pretext of revision of the voters’ list. However, the police arrested him when he was meeting his advocate in Bengaluru.

Congress Campaign Panel Chief M.B. Patil has stated that the party would submit a complaint about the scandal in another two days to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

“The private data of the people has been collected. This is a serious issue. Elections will be held in other states as well and there is suspicion of a scandal taking place there also. We will go before the CEC. Those who have indulged in this scam should be punished,” Patil stated.

Chief Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tushar Girinath, who is being attacked for his alleged role in it by the Congress, stated that they have received four reports regarding the scam by different agencies.

“BBMP is preparing a final report based on these reports. A separate team was formed to look into four parliamentary constituencies of Bengaluru. It was monitored by the District Election Officer. The report will be submitted to the State Chief Election Commissioner,” he said.

The police investigation has revealed that the accused had collected complete details of the voters including caste, sub-caste and gender.

The Congress has alleged mass deletion of voters to suit its needs by the ruling party. The BJP has rebutted it, saying that deletion of fake voters especially minority voters brought from neighbouring states is worrying the Congress.

Congress state president D.K. Shivakumar has demanded lodging of a FIR against the election officers in all 28 assembly constituencies of Bengaluru. He welcomed the decision of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to conduct a probe into the scandal since 2013.

“If we had misused the data then, let us be punished as well. We will wait and watch how the police are going to probe. We will also see whether the Chief Justice of the High Court intervenes and then would take a call,” he said.

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