Bengaluru | The BJP’s Karnataka unit on Thursday requested the Election Commission to appoint central observers in Mandya, Hassan and Tumkur Lok Sabha seats, as it suspects that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would misuse the state machinery to suit the electoral needs of his son, nephew and father.
Unit chief B S Yeddyurappa in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner has pointed out that there are precedents of the election commission appointing special central observers in addition to the present official set up in highly volatile constituencies.
“In the wake of heat being generated in the elections in these three constituencies owing to high profile contestants, my sincere request is the commission should appoint a central observer to each of the constituencies to guide and supervise ground-level officials in conducting elections impartially,” Yeddyurappa said in his letter.
“I hope the CEC will take cognizance of my request and post senior officials as observers in these three constituencies,” the former chief minister said.
While Kumaraswamy’s father and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda is JD(S) candidate from Tumkur, his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy and elder brother H D Revanna’s son Prajwal are party candidates from Mandya and Hassan Lok Sabha seats respectively.
Highlighting the volatility of elections in Mandya, Hassan and Tumkur Lok Sabha constituencies, Yeddyurappa alleged there was every possibility of Kumaraswamy misusing the state official machinery to suit the electoral needs of his son, nephew and father in these three constituencies.
Pointing out that hurdles were created on the day of filing of papers by independent candidate Sumalathain Mandya Lok Sabha seat, he said, “Kumaraswamy and his party leaders have a track record of allegedly misutilising the official machinery in the past.”
“In the coming days as we approach the polling day, things may start going wayward forcing the people to suspect the conduct of elections in a free and fair manner in these three constituencies,” he added.
In Mandya, Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is pitted against multi-lingual actress Sumalatha Ambareesh, who is the widow of actor-politician M H Ambareesh.
Having been denied ticket by the Congress with Mandya going to the JD(S) due to coalition compulsions, Sumalatha is contesting as an independent candidate.
She has the support of BJP and many disgruntled Congress leaders who are upset over their party ceding the seat to the JD(S).
In Tumkur, Deve Gowda is pitted against BJP’s Basavaraj while Congress rebel candidate and sitting MP Muddahanumegowda has also filed his nomination.
Prajwal has been fielded against A Manju of BJP, who quit Congress after the party ceded the seat to JD(S).
Mandya, Hassan and Tumkur will go to polls in the first phase on April 18, and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is March 29.