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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Karnataka bypolls: Congress accuses BJP of trying to rig elections, seeks EC action

In a letter to the Election Commission, the Congress has alleged the BJP is "planning large-scale booth capturing" in Bengaluru's KR Puram Assembly constituency.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Published: December 2, 2019 8:06:40 pm
Karnataka-Congress-Dinesh-Gundu-Rao-Siddarmaiah-bypolls The Congress has demanded deploying of paramilitary forces across KR Puram constituency to ensure free and fair elections.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Monday accused the BJP of “planning large-scale booth capturing to rig elections” in Bengaluru’s KR Puram Assembly constituency, where bypolls are to be held on December 5.

Congress-letter-Election-Commission-BJP-rig-elections-Karnataka-bypolls The letter sent to Election Commission lists 33 “suspected” polling booths in KR Puram.

Congress leaders from the city said Byrathi Basavaraj, the disqualified MLA who is contesting as the BJP candidate, along with other leaders, has “planned to capture booths” 33 booths.

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Congress spokesperson and MLC Prakash Rathod said, “We got to know from our sources in KR Puram that BJP candidate Byrathi Basavaraj, his party leaders and some workers have been preparing to capture these booths on a large scale. This is their attempt to rig the elections.”

Sadananda-Gowda-KR-Puram-Byarthi-Basavaraj-Karnataka-bypolls Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda campaigns for BJP candidate Byrathi Basavaraj in KR Puram, Bengaluru. (Express Photo)

In a letter sent to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka, the Congress listed the 33 booths and demanded they be declared ‘sensitive’.

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The booths mentioned in the letter include Booth no. 8, 9, 10, 11 (Kothanur, Jyothinagar), 12, 13 (Chalsandhalli), 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 (Gedlahalli) in Agara ward, and booth no. 93 to 96 (Kowdenahalli school), 161, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 172 (St Anthony School), 173 to 178 (Christ The King College), 202 to 205 (Ambedkar Nagar Govt. School) in the Ramamurthy Nagar ward.

The Congress has also requested the EC to depute paramilitary forces across KR Puram constituency to ensure free and fair elections.

READ| Karnataka bypolls: EC ‘mute spectator’ to BJP’s poll code violation, says Congress

Apart from KR Puram, the Congress has alleged malpractices in Hoskote, accusing BJP candidate M T B Nagaraj of distributing money and gold ornaments to voters in Maranagere, Siddanapura, and Gangalur villages on December 1.

The party also sought EC action against chec kpost officials in Hunsur assembly constituency, for allegedly allowing BJP vehicles to pass without inspection.

“Pratap Simha (Mysuru-Kodagu BJP Lok Sabha MP) was passing the Manuganahalli check post at 10.30 am on 2nd December 2019, his vehicle was allowed to go on the footpath and the check post officers ‘saluted’ him and he drove away without stopping and subjecting for inspection,” another letter sent to the Chief Electoral Officer reads.

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Bypolls to 15 constituencies in Karnataka are scheduled for December 5. The seats fell vacant after 17 Congress-JD(S) alliance MLAs defected and were disqualified.

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