Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 HIGHLIGHTS: EC defers polling in Rajrajeshwari seat to May 28https://indianexpress.com/elections/karnataka-assembly-elections-2018-live-updates-bjp-congress-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi-siddaramaiah-bs-yedyurappa-sriramulu-election-commission-5172269/

Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 HIGHLIGHTS: EC defers polling in Rajrajeshwari seat to May 28

Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 HIGHLIGHTS: Campaigning came to an end in Karnataka but fight now moves to the offices of the Election Commission in Delhi.

Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 LIVE UPDATES: EC defers polling in Rajrajeshwari seat to May 28
Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 HIGHLIGHTS: The BJP tweeted this image of the purported fake voter IDs, recovered from Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency on Tuesday (Source: Twitter/@BJP4Karnataka)

The Election Commission on Friday ordered postponement of elections to the Rajrajeshwari Nagar assembly seat in Karnataka saying there is “definite inference” to suggest that efforts were made to induce voters. Polling in the constituency will now be held on May 28 now and counting will be on May 31.

The decision comes days after nearly 10,000 voter identity cards were recovered from a flat in the constituency, leading to a slugfest between the BJP and the Congress.

Earlier in the day, a Congress delegation led by senior party leaders Kapil Sibal, Randeep Surjewala and others petitioned the Election Commission demanding that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate B Sriramulu be disqualified from contesting the Karnataka assembly elections over a video allegedly showing him trying to a bribe a former chief justice of India’s relative.

The Congress late on Thursday released two videos dating back to 2010 when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders B Sriramulu and G Janardhana Reddy were purportedly involved in negotiating a bribe with a relative of a former Chief Justice of India, allegedly to influence a verdict in a mining case. State working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy released the videos at the Karnataka Congress office after it appeared on a local channel. State electoral authorities, later, directed channels not to air the videos and issued notices.

Also Read | Campaign closes: BJP fields big guns, Rahul Gandhi holds Congress fort

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Karnataka Assembly elections 2018: Congress leaders met the Election Commission officials and demanded disqualification of B. Sriramulu's candidature. Here are highlights.

Polling will be held tomorrow in 222 constituencies of the 224-member Assembly after elections in two constituencies were countermanded. In Jayanagara, following the death of BJP candidate and sitting MLA B N Vijaykumar and in Rajrajeshwari Nagar after the Election Commission said there is “definite inference” to suggest that efforts were made to induce voters.

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Polling in Rajrajeshwari Assembly on May 28, counting on May 31

The Election Commission decided to defer polling in Rajrajeshwari Assembly to May 28, after nearly 10,000 fake voter id cards were seized from a flat on Wednesday. Counting of votes in this constituency will take place on May 31.

Shiv Sena accuses BJP of rigging EVMs to win elections

Meanwhille, Shiv Sena has accused its estranged ally BJP of rigging EVMs to win elections and claimed that people do not trust the current method of polling anymore. The recovery of "fake" voter ID cards in Bengaluru show how the electoral process in Karnataka has touched a new low, Sena said in its mouthpiece 'Saamna'. 

-PTI

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BJP leader Ram Madhav said, "Karnataka assembly elections 2018 is an important election. Both the BJP and the Congress have invested heavily in it. I am certain that BJP will be in a comfortable position and will get a simple majority and will form the government in the state."

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) being dispatched from Kamala Bai Educational Institution to polling booths.

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Law and order situation under control and the Election Commission is satisfied with it. 20 per cent of booths are sensitive. 82,157 police and home guards and 585 central forces companies have been deployed. No communal violence has been reported so far. Rs 166 crore in cash and other election-related material have been seized: Karnataka Police

Kapil Sibal said, "Met EC and made 4 demands that the video in which BJP's Sriramulu and son in law of ex-C JI,that talks about bribes that were given, basis on the video an FIR should be registered against all those who are participating in it. Ban on showing that video in Karnataka must be lifted. Election where Sriramulu is contesting should be countermanded, he should be disqualified from contesting elections. BJP is spreading hatred among voters in Karnataka by putting promos in Chandrashekhar's channel."

Kapil Sibal , Randeep Surjewala addresses media after meeting with EC

Karnataka Congress is also releasing several videos showing work done by them for the welfare of people in Karnataka.

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"We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B Sriramulu from contesting the election," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said after meeting the poll panel.

What Congress sought from Election Commission

Congress sought directions from the Election Commission on the issue. The party said, "We, therefore, humbly and respectfully, seek the following directions from the Hon’ble Commission."

1. To take all such actions as may be necessary and required in law and direct immediate barring/disqualification of Shri. B. Sriramulu from contesting Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018; and

2. To take all such actions as may be necessary and required in law including direction for registration of offences against Shri. B. Sriramulu, for violation of provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; and

3. To direct CEO Karnataka, to lift any injunction on the Kannada television channels or other media from showing; and playing the tapes.

4. To take all such actions as are necessary in law for holding a free and fair Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.

3. "Your good offices are aware that polling for Karnataka Assembly Elections is to take place on May 12. It is the sacred Constitutional responsibility of the Hon’ble Election Commission to ensure that the integrity of the Karnataka Assembly Elections is paramount and no individual or party to which he may belong, is above the process of the law," the Congress delegation told the EC.

2. "In a forty-minute video that has been made public and broadcast widely in the regional Kannada media on the evening of May 10th, 2018, it is clearly seen that the candidate B. Sriramulu and three other individuals (identified as G. Janardhan Reddy, Captain Reddy and Swamiji) are seen sitting with the son-in-law of a former Chief Justice of India. The discussions between them, as seen in the video and reported by the media, relate to the payment of money to the Son-in-law to secure a favourable judgment of the Supreme Court for the Reddy brothers. Upon viewing the video, there can be no doubt as to the agenda of the meeting taking place."

Congress to EC: 1. "This clear-cut evidence relates to grave corrupt practices including attempting to bribe a Supreme Court judge. It goes without saying that even on a cursory viewing of this incriminating evidence, a clear-cut case for the cancellation of the candidature of B Sriramulu is made out for both the seats being contested by him in the upcoming Karnataka Elections."

This is what Congress told the EC

Congress' statement to the election commission:

On behalf of Indian National Congress, we the undersigned, are compelled to bring to the attention of the Hon’ble Election Commission, significant and shocking evidence, released by the Kannada media on the evening of May 10th, 2018, which clearly disqualifies B Sriramulu as a candidate from contesting the upcoming Karnataka Election and warrants immediate exercise of the EC’s constitutional powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India. The evidence gives rise to serious questions and allegations about certain heinous and deplorable criminal activities being indulged in by the BJP’s candidate B. Sriramulu (BJP candidate for Molakalmuru as well as Badami Assembly Constituencies in Karnataka).

SAD leaders leaves after meeting CEC

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa, Balvinder Singh, Inderjeet Gujral, Daljeet Singh Cheema after meeting with Chief election commissioner in Delhi on Friday.

(Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Congress delegation leaves after meeting Election Commissioner

A delegation of senior Congress Party leaders led by Kapil Sibal, Randeep Surjewala, Motilal Vohra, RPN Singh leaving after meeting the Election Commissioner of India at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on Friday. 

(Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Congress leaders have met the Election Commission.

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Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 LIVE UPDATES: A BJP roadshow in Karnataka on Thursday. (Express photo by Aaron Pereira)

Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 LIVE UPDATES: Leaders including Siddaramaiah and BS Yeddyurappa made a last-minute dash on Thursday to woo voters in Karnataka and parties braced for the vote Saturday at the end of a bitter, hard campaign for the assembly elections. On Thursday, while BJP president Amit Shah launched a scathing attack on Siddaramaiah, saying that development in Karnataka had come to a halt just like the traffic in Bengaluru and that the Congress candidate will lose both the seats in the upcoming Assembly polls, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, held a press conference along with Siddaramaiah, and attacked the Modi government over a range of issues, including Dalit atrocities and rise in crimes against women. Rahul also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not holding a press conference in the last four years”.