Amid the massive controversy over the recovery of almost 10,000 Voter ID cards at an apartment in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwarinagar, Republic TV has spoken to the man who is alleged to be at the center of the scandal -- the constituency's MLA and Congress candidate for the upcoming polls, Munirathna Naidu.
Speaking to Republic TV's associate editor Aditya Raj Kaul, Munirathna admitted that his visiting cards were found in the apartment along with the voter ID cards and survey forms that the sensational #BribeForVotes expose revealed were part of a systematic attempt to economically profile vulnerable sections of the area and then bribe them for their vote. He said, however, that his cards and pamphlets had been sent to all houses in the area.
Muniratha's answers were evasive and he appeared to be making calculations over his position based on the information provided in the questions. He also suggested that higher-ups in the Congress party were monitoring the matter.
Just a short while earlier, a tout who was allegedly involved in the operation being conducted at the apartment had admitted that she had collected ID cards at Munirathna's behest. The state's Chief Election Officer had also confirmed in a news briefing on Wednesday that the operation seemed to be an attempt to influence voters, though he declined to furnish specific information in light of the ongoing police investigation.
The scandal had exploded on Tuesday night after the recovery of the almost 10,000 genuine Voter ID's was made, causing the BJP and Congress to issue press briefings and counter-briefings well past midnight to pin the blame on each other. The news briefings continued on Wednesday and concentrated upon the ownership and current occupant of the apartment in question. The flat belongs to Manjula Nanjamari, a former BJP corporator, who, while speaking to Republic TV, denied any knowledge of the matter and said that she wasn't connected to either party. While the Congress has claimed that the flat's tenant is Rakesh, allegedly an estranged adopted son of Manjula Nanjamari, Rakesh, himself, has denied the claim. As per sources, the flat's tenant is a woman named Rekha who took up occupancy in the flat just a month ago for a rent of Rs. 16,000 per month.