Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

EC took 'extraordinary step' by postponing RR Nagar election: Piyush Goyal

ANI | Updated: May 12, 2018 00:20 IST

New Delhi [India], May 11 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday lauded the Election Commission's (EC) decision to postpone the polling in Bengaluru's Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency and called it an 'extraordinary step'.
"Today the Election Commission has taken an extraordinary step by postponing the election in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency," Goyal said.
Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, he said, "Specific instances of corrupt electoral practices and attempts of bribery were detected by the EC and their special observers, this clearly demonstrates a desperate Congress resorting to the most unethical practices to rig the election."
"They have clearly given up all hopes to win this election and they could see the writing on the wall more than a month before the election when evidence suggests they started they started these activities," he added.
He then quoted from an EC release, saying, "It is necessary for the EC to take this extraordinary step, the seizure of 9746 EPIC cards, photo voting slips, laptops and other things, 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."
Further stating that the Police had recorded statements of the concerned voters, he said, "The statements revealed that EPICs were taken a month before in exchange for water cans and they also promised cookers, etc at a later stage. These water cans bear the photo and the text of the INC (Indian National Congress) candidate from 154 Raj Rajeshwari Nagar assembly constituency."
"A large number of cases have been lodged against various accused persons including the Congress candidate," added Goyal.
Up to 9,746 voter ID cards, several laptops, printer, thousands of Form 6 Acknowledgement were found from a flat in Bengaluru's Jalahalli locality by EC officials, on May 8, following which, the BJP had accused Congress of orchestrating the racket to gain an advantage in the upcoming state assembly polls.
In reply, the Congress had maintained their stance of the flat being owned by a person with links to the BJP.
Meanwhile, polling in the constituency for Karnataka Assembly has been deferred to May 28.
Accordingly, counting of votes for the RR Nagar constituency will take place on May 31, the Election Commission of India notified on Friday.
The election in the state will be held on May 12 in the 222 constituencies, out of 224 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, while the counting of votes and announcement of results will take place on May 15. (ANI)