New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday moved the Election Commission (EC) alleging BJP hand in a Bengaluru incident where counterfoils and voter IDs were recovered from a flat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituency, and demanded stern action against those responsible.
The party also complained to the poll panel against alleged misuse of Income Tax authorities to intimidate and malign Congress candidates.
The memorandum submitted to the poll panel accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "a concerted conspiracy" and "fabricating and concocting and enacting fake midnight drama", and said 9,746 voter cards were recovered from a flat "belonging to BJP associates".
"The raid was stage-managed. The flat belonged to a BJP leader. Those who conducted raids were BJP people, not EC or police. Two Union Ministers also reached there late in the night. This proves that the party is rattled over imminent defeat.
"We expect the Commission to take action immediately. FIR should be lodged and it should order the arrest of BJP leaders," Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.
He alleged that the BJP had been using huge amounts of cash and resources in its bid to influence the voters.
The Election Commission in the wee hours of Wednesday filed an FIR after 9,746 voter ID cards were found in a flat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency, along with around one lakh counterfoils resembling acknowledgement slips used for addition of names into electoral rolls.
The Congress said the "drama" had been enacted to "impede free and fair election" as party candidate Munirathna was in a comfortable position to win the seat in the May 12 polls.
"The flat was raided by a group of private persons, including BJP candidate and workers. Some campaign material of the Congress candidate that was planted there was also found," it said.
The party said that the flat belonged to Manjula Nanjamuri, who had rented it to her "adopted son" Rakesh.
Accusing the BJP of making false allegations, the Congress said that Nanjamuri "is a former BJP Corporator and a BJP leader from Jalahalli (a locality in RR Nagar constituency)".
The party claimed that Rakesh was a BJP worker and was close to party candidate Tulsi Mundraj Gowda as also to other state leaders.
Answering queries, Sharma said his party was not seeking deferment of the election.
"Why should we demand this. The BJP is conspiring. We want the polls to take place. We do not want the BJP to succeed in its conspiracy to derail the election in any manner," he said.
Sharma said a message must go out that the process of election would be free and fair and "the BJP despite its power and the support of all the agencies will not be allowed to subvert the process".
"We have proof that Manjula is associated with the party. BJP is actually a party which has mastered the art of double-speak, hypocrisy, and lies. The foundation of this government is based on deceit, duplicity and brazen lies. And that's what the PM himself is all about ... boastful propaganda, betrayal of people. So they are exposed today," he said
The Congress leader said the poll panel had assured the party of strict and prompt action.
The party also alleged that the central government was indulging in the manipulation of government machinery, particularly the Income Tax Department, to "repeatedly raid and intimidate Congress candidates and disrupt their election campaign".
The party cited instances and said that Krishna Heritage Resort was raided to malign the image of Chief Minister, who is contesting from Badami seat.