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Even Cong held such survey in 2018: Bommai on electoral fraud

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Bengaluru: Promising an investigation into the allegations of electoral fraud by Congress leaders, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday mocked them and said they are bankrupt of ideas because even their government in 2018 had conducted such surveys.

And the Election Commission of India has authorised civic bodies and NGOs to undertake such a survey, CM added.

“The Election Commission of India has authorised Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and local organisations to undertake ‘Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Program’ (SVEEP) and that survey work will be entrusted to Non-Governmental Organisations,” Bommai said.

“This is not the first time as it has been held even in 2018. I will order a detailed probe into it, including the orders by the Election Commission of India and let the truth come out,” he said.

On the Congress party demanding his resignation, Bommai said it is ridiculous. “If this is the yardstick, then the Congress chief ministers should have resigned three times by now. This allegation is baseless and far from truth,” he said.

Earlier, Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that Bommai, BBMP and Election Authority are overtly and covertly responsible for theft of voter data, fraud and impersonation through brazen misdemeanours.

“The forty percent commission sarakara has now corrupted the election process also. Bommai, BJP government and its officials, BBMP and the Election Authority are together partners in crime in trampling democracy with the evil design of snatching voting rights from the innocent Bengalureans,” he further alleged in a statement posted on his Twitter handle.

He demanded Bommai’s resignation for being party to crime in trampling democracy.

Surjewala said a private entity, named Chilume Educational and Rural Development Institute, referred to as Pvt Entity Chilume, has committed a brazen fraud of collecting voter data by impersonating its privately hired employees as government officers and issuing them booth level officers’ (BLOs) cards.

Posing as BLOs, employees of Chilume collected voter data in 28 assembly constituencies comprising information like caste, religion, age, gender, mother tongue, marital status, Aadhar Number, phone number, address, voter id number, email address of voters, he alleged.

Chilume then uploaded the entire vital voter information on a private app called Digital Sameeksha owned by its sister concern, Chilume Enterprises Private Limited, instead of uploading on the election commission voter registration helpline Garuda or Voter Helpline, Surjewala said.

“This was one more fraud perpetrated on the innocent voters of Bengaluru,” he said.

Surjewala further alleged that Chilume also subcontracted its work to multiple agencies and NGOs across Bengaluru thereby further compromising personal voter data among multiple unauthorized agencies.

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