The call centre facility run by BJP IT cell in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi was shut down by the police officials,after finding that the call centre was situated in the government property.As per the Model Code of Conduct, government buildings cannot be used without prior permission from the Election Commission, particularly for political purposes.
Election flying squad officials along with police officials arrived at the office space after they received a tip off about the activity happening at the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (KEONICS) IT Park in Kalaburagi on Saturday night. The IT Park was developed by the Karnataka government.
“We found that around 12-13 people had taken up a space inside a big hall and they had voter lists of people voting from northern Karnataka. They also had a list of mobile numbers and they were calling them up. They had not taken prior permission for this,” said a police official from Kalaburagi Rural police station.
Police officials locked down the office and registered a case under section 171 H of the IPC (Illegal payments in connection with an election) against Sharan and other party workers on Sunday. If found guilty, the workers will be fined up to Rs 500 each.
The BJP IT cell is known to target messages to voters via WhatsApp. In the run-up to the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections, the IT cell had created a network of over 40,000 WhatsApp groups at booth levels across the state.