Republic TV has spoken exclusively to Congress MLA Munirathna Naidu who has now been named as an accused in two FIRs on the eve of the Karnataka assembly elections.
Speaking to Republic TV's South bureau chief Pooja Prasanna, Naidu showed himself to have a far clearer line on the recovery of almost 10,000 voter ID cards from an apartment in his Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency than a day earlier.
When asked about his visiting cards and pamphlets being found at the apartment along with suspicious forms that the Election Commission confirmed were used to profile economically vulnerable sections in the area, Munirathna said that he had no connection to the house and that 10,000 of the visiting cards could be printed in an hour. At a news conference earlier on Thursday Munirathna had claimed that the cards and pamphlets had been planted in order to implicate him.
Now that FIRs have been filed, Munirathna attempted to evade questions on the matter, saying that the law would take its course. He did, however, accuse the BJP of using agencies such as the CBI and the ED against Congress candidates.
At his briefing earlier in the day, Munirathna had attempted to give a caste/religion breakup of the almost 10,000 voter IDs that had been recovered. He alleged that videos from the apartment had been fabricated by Opposition parties and that he had distributed 40,000 pamphlets, with permission, in the area and that's how there could have been a pamphlet with his name in the house. He said the same about the water canister that was found in the house with his name on it.
"Tomorrow, anyone can hoard election material and make anyone an accused"
As mentioned above, Munirathna has now been accused in two FIRs. The first is for attempting to distribute Rs 90 lakh-worth of T-shirts and half-pants bearing his photo and the second, which the Chief Election Officer of Karnataka confirmed, is in the voter ID scandal.