The BJP on Tuesday complained to the state poll panel’s chief that the police were acting like the ruling Congress’ “puppet,” harassing and implicating its party workers in criminal cases in run-upn up to the May 12 assembly polls. In its memorandum to Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar, the saffron party also complained of ‘rigid and arbitrary” interpretation of the Model Code by poll panel’s officials and said it was creating problems for them.
A BJP delegation, including Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ananthkumar and party general secretary P Muralidhar Rao met CEC and submitted the party’s memorandum to him. Accusing police of harassing BJP workers and its others sympathisers, the memorandum said false cases were being lodged against them. “The Police Department is acting as a puppet of the ruling Congress party, arresting several right wing activists. No action has been taken against the biased officials,” it said.
The BJP petition also referred to the implementation of the election code of conduct with “rigid and arbitrary interpretation.” It said the “Mushti Dhaanya” programme (collecting of fistful of food grains from farmers household), aimed at showing solidarity with farmers in distress, covering all 224 assembly constituencies, was to conclude with sharing food with them at Yeddyurappa’s residence. The government officials, however, restricted the party leaders from holding the event.
The programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public rally recently. “The programe had begun much before the announcement of elections. However, the Election Commission officials, under the guise of Model Code of Conduct, are restricting farmers from reaching the house of Yeddyurappa. “It is beyond our imagination why the EC is creating obstructions to the smooth conduct of the in-house programme,” the memorandum said.
It also alleged that officials were preventing party workers from holding bike rally, though BJP is a cadre-based party having a large base of workers who voluntarily want to participate in the programmes. The party sources said the CEO assured the leaders that he would look into their grievances.