Friends, today we experienced the Election Commission taking an extraordinary step of postponement of the election in Rajarajeshwari assembly constituency in Bengaluru, Karnataka, because specific instances of corrupt electoral practices and attempts at bribery were detected by the Election Commission and their special observers. This clearly demonstrates a desperate Congress resorting to the most unethical practices to rig the elections.
The Congress seems to have completely given up any hope of winning this election and they could see the writing of the wall more than one month before the election, when evidence suggests they started these type of unethical activities, because of which – and I quote from the Election Commission’s order of today – “It is necessary for the Election Commission to take an extraordinary step.” This is written in the Election Commission order.
The Election Commission has stated that this seizure of 9,564 EPIC card details, EPIC card copies, photo voter slips, laptops and other materials, and I quote “is clearly an attempt to induce voters in a systematic and planned manner and thereby vitiate the process of election in the said assembly constituency, which itself is a corrupt practice and attracted provisions under Section 120B, 171E, 171F, 188, read with section 34 of the IPC and several Sections of the Representation of Person’s Act, 1951. The very act of illegal collection of thousands of electoral photo identity cards from voters in the vulnerable community seems to be a deliberate and systematic attempt to make large scale voters captive to the collecting persons and/or candidates either to vote with inducement for them or coerce them not to vote at all.”
There cannot be a clearer indictment of the Congress party than the fact that an FIR has been lodged against the Congress candidate from Rajarajeshwari Nagar, and the Election Commission has said, “This illegal collection of EPIC cards is likely to significantly affect the conduct of free and fair election in this constituency.”
In fact, as has been pointed out to me, the Election Commission has described in great detail how this whole process was started nearly more than one month ago of giving out a water can based on which the people were asked to give their EPIC cards. And I once again quote from the order of the Election Commission – “Police recorded the statements of the concerned voters which revealed that EPICs were taken a month before in exchange of water cans and promised cookers, etc at a later stage. Water cans were seized from these houses, these seized water cans bear the photo and text of the INC candidate from 154 Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly constituency.”
मैं समझता हूँ इतना घोर अपराध शायद ही मैंने पहले इतने वर्षों में भारतीय राजनीति में देखा होगा – where the concerned party and candidate have used a survey form to carry out a detailed survey of the voters in the area, which included photograph of the house, of the particular voters, along with his details of caste, gender, contact number and passport size photographs. All of this to leading to a deliberate attempt to vitiate the free and fair election and possibly the laptop and the printers that were found there suggest an effort to create fake voter identity cards. It has been proven that they have tried to bribe the voters to vote for a particular party and a particular candidate and a large number of cases have been lodged against various accused persons, including the candidate of the Congress, concerning seizures of material related to the ongoing election.
Because of all these findings, the Election Commission has said that this seems to suggest a design to induce the voters in a particular manner at the level of parties. The Congress party has not done this in one isolated incident, in fact, now it has come to light in another neighbouring constituency called Yeshwantpur. We don’t know how far this malaise has spread in the Karnataka election and it clearly shows the desperate Congress trying to rig the election, bribe the voters, resort to corrupt electoral practices.
And, the Election Commission has said, ‘such bribery at elections is also a corrupt practices under Section 123(1) of the RP Act, which can result in the election of the candidate being declared void and the candidate found guilty of commission of such corrupt practices.’
Friends from the media, today the Bhartiya Janta Party would like to appreciate the prompt corrective action taken by the honourable Election Commission to save the purity and sanctity of the electoral process. And by taking this extraordinary step, they have saved the country and the people of Karnataka from an organised and sinister criminal conspiracy to deprive free and fair elections by the Congress party.
Such instances having been found in other places, today the BJP has requested the honourable Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners in Delhi and the Chief Electoral Officer in Karnataka to insist that voters, particularly, new voters in the supplementary lists or first time voters be asked to furnish a second proof of identity when they go to cast their vote, a second proof going beyond the EPIC card with the proof of address, so that fake voters do not get a chance to cast their vote.
We have also requested that advertisements be placed in all the leading newspapers and television channels and radio stations in Karnataka, warning voters that they should not be induced, or should not get carried away by any attempt to induce them through bribery or corrupt practices and should follow honest and free and fair electoral practices.
It is very unfortunate that the desperate Congress has resorted to the worst form of bribery and corrupt electoral practices. I do hope the people of India who are watching this naked show of money power and attempt to vitiate the free and fair election process will understand the evil designs of the Congress party and will certainly take note of the desperation that has come into the Congress to not allow honest, free and fair voting.
And as the Election Commission has said, they have focused particularly on certain sections of society to try and tarnish the honest and free and fair elections that India has been having.
Thank you very much
Answer : आज बहुत ही दुखद घटना घटी है जिसका संज्ञान एक extraordinary step के रूप में इलेक्शन कमीशन को लेना पड़ा, उन्होंने यह अपने लिखित आदेश में दिया है कि कर्नाटक की राजा राजेश्वरी assembly constituency जो बेंगलुरु में पड़ती है उसमें किस प्रकार से हज़ारों की संख्या में EPIC cards, photo voter slips, laptop और बाकी आदि सामान मिला और आप जानते हैं यह छोटे-छोटे पैकेट में बना हुआ था, एक-एक कांग्रेस के कार्यकर्ता का नाम और नंबर उसपर लिखा हुआ था | और पुलिस की छानबीन में पता चला इलेक्शन कमीशन के ऑर्डर के अनुसार कि एक महीने पहले से यह षड्यंत्र रचा गया, लोगों के घरों में जाकर पानी का कैन दिया गया जिसमें कांग्रेस कैंडिडेट की फोटो और निशानी थी और उनको कहा गया कि आप यह वाटर कैन रखो, आपका EPIC card हमें दे दो, बाद में हम आपके पास प्रेशर कुकर आदि देंगे |
और आप समझ सकते हैं कि यह जो भ्रष्टाचार किया गया है Cash-for-Votes के तरीके से जिस प्रकार से यह bribe किया गया है वोटर्स को, attempt किया गया है bribe करने के लिए इसके ऊपर यह घोर अपराध है | इसके ऊपर कानूनन Indian Penal Code और Representation of Persons Act के दोनों के कई प्रावधान इलेक्शन कमीशन ने cite किये हैं और उन्होंने कहा है कि एक vulnerable society, एक specific community को टारगेट किया गया है जिसके ऊपर एक deliberate, जानबूझकर और बड़े योजना के हिसाब से, systematic attempt, जिससे इन सब वोटर्स की वोटिंग को प्रभावित किया जाये और या तो इनको induce किया जाये एक particular उमीदवार और पार्टी को वोट देने के लिए या वोट ना देने के लिए |
यह EPIC cards को कलेक्ट करना अपने आप में अपराध है | It is an illegal act. और इससे free and fair election ख़राब होने की स्थिति पैदा हो गयी है और यह सिर्फ राजा राजेश्वरी नगर नहीं, यशवंतपुर में भी पाया गया है | हमें पता नहीं और कहाँ-कहाँ पर कांग्रेस ने इस प्रकार के गति-विरोध किये हैं और इसलिए हमने आज इलेक्शन कमीशन को दरख्वास्त की है कि एक तो वह सभी नए वोटर, क्योंकि हज़ारों की संख्या में काउंटर-फॉइल पाए गए नए वोटर के रजिस्ट्रेशन के | तो हमें पता नहीं कि कितने फेक वोटर्स को भी कांग्रेस ने यहाँ पर दर्ज किया गया वोटर लिस्ट में | तो सभी फर्स्ट-टाइम और नए वोटर्स से इलेक्शन कमीशन इश्तिहार देके, ऐड्वर्टाइज़ करके रिक्वेस्ट करे कि वह EPIC card के साथ अपने घर के पता का और कोई एडिशनल प्रूफ, चाहे वह राशन कार्ड हो, चाहे इनकम टैक्स का पैन नंबर हो, आधार कार्ड हो, अलग-अलग प्रकार से कुछ और प्रूफ लेकर आयें जिससे यह सुनिश्चित हो सके कि यह सही वोटर हैं और फ्री एंड फेयर इलेक्शन कर्नाटक में किये जाये सकें |
Answer : The BJP has also complained to the Chief Electoral Officer in Badami about large scale effort to distribute money and an official complaint has been registered by the BJP candidate and his election agent to the Chief Electoral Officer there. It is really shameful that such practices are being resorted to by the Chief Minister, sitting incumbent Chief Minister himself in the second constituency, where he ran from the first constituency, realizing that he has no chance of winning in his first constituency, ran to a second constituency. And then also when he saw Mr Amit Shah’s huge rally, he realized that he has no chance of winning the election and is resorting to distributing money for which the Bhartiya Janta Party has filed a complaint against the Congress Candidate Shri Siddaramaiah there.
We are given to understand that 20 lakhs were recovered from the place where Mr Siddaramaiah was staying just a few hours before the seizure by the income tax officials. Information has come to light that a large scale effort was done to distribute amounts across the Badamai constituency far in excess of the amount permitted for any candidate to spend. These are serious violations of the Indian Penal Code, the income tax laws and the electoral laws and it is incumbent on the Election Commission to take the strictest of measures to act against the illegal activities of such candidates and of the Congress party.
And we appeal to the voters not to get influenced by any of these attempts of the Congress and their candidates at bribery and corrupt practices and to vote in a free and fair manner as advised by the Election Commission.
Answer : Well, it is a known fact that certain political parties indulge in dividing society. They look at certain sections of society merely as vote banks and this is only proof that they are willing, a desperate Congress is willing to go to any extent to save the last big state that they have under the Congress government. It is an extremely sad day for Indian democracy that such corrupt practices are being resorted to and I am confident that the people of Karnataka will vote wisely in the interest of protecting democracy, in the interest of protecting the secular fabric of India and not allow anybody to divide the Indian society on caste or religion or on any other parameters.
Answer : I am sure the Election Commission would have taken note of all such reports in this regard.
Absolutely, it is a crystal clear order leaving no scope whatsoever for any doubt about the attempt by the candidate of the Congress in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, which has come to light. We don’t know how far widespread this malaise is, which other constituencies are suffering from similar attempts by the Congress to vitiate the free and fair election. And the remarks of the Election Commission are themselves vindication of the Bhartiya Janta Party’s complaints that the Congress party is influencing the voters by the use of money power.
And I quote from para 9 of the Election Commission order – ‘Apart from the above, the law of the country also frowns on the role of role and influence of big money in the electoral process.’ It is a clear indictment of the Congress party, its candidate. This could be the tip of the iceberg. We don’t know how far widespread it is. And, therefore, the Election Commission should issue advertisements and ensure that only the correct and genuine voters are allowed to cast their vote and a full-fledged investigation should be carried out across the state of Karnataka to find out where all the Congress party has attempted to bribe voters, attempted to induce voting behavioral pattern and attempted corrupt electoral practices as has been highlighted in the Election Commission order today. Thank you.
Answer : We have talked to the Election Commission in Karnataka and I am sure the Election Commission will take a sanguine decision wherever such instances have come to light. But we have full faith in the voters of Karnataka who are very wise and will ensure that they do not get carried away by any of this inducement or corrupt practice, but will vote wisely to save and protect Indian democracy.
May 10, 2018 Speaking at a press conference in Karnataka