The Hindu Important Articles 13 May 2018
# State all set for polling today
EC defers Rajarajeshwarinagar polling following ‘bribery’ charge
The 5.06 crore voters in the State are set to exercise their franchise on Saturday to choose 222 legislators, as the Election Commission, on the eve of polling deferred election in Rajarajeshwarnagari constituency following allegations of “bribery”.
Polling in Rajarajeshwarainagar will now be held on May 28 and counting on May 31. Pollling in Jayanagar has already been countermanded following the death of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaykumar.
The announcement on Rajarajeshwarinagar came after the commission found that the electoral process “vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers in planning to allure voters through distribution of freebies”. They had also illegally collected EPICs, photo voter slips and other material to woo them and also “keep them away from the right of franchise”.
Polling in Rajarajeshwarinagar has been deferred to enable the authorities to return 9,564 EPICs seized from a flat to the voters, said Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar. Following the decision on deferment of polls, election officials from over 400 booths were called back on Friday night with their material.
Addressing presspersons, Mr. Kumar said that the commission was set to hold “free and fair” elections and all arrangements have been made in 58,546 polling booths, including 12,002 critical booths. In all, 5.06 crore voters have been registered across the State.
And, 3.65 lakh election officials and 1.34 lakh security personnel, including Central para military forces and State police, have been deployed to maintain law and order. The commission hopes to increase the elector turnout percentage from 71.45 recorded in 2013 to above 75 this time.
Meanwhile, several mustering centres, including those in Bengaluru, Vijayapura, Hubballi and Tumakuru, saw chaos when the election officials deployed for duty complained of confusion and lack of basic facilities.
The run-up to the 2018 Assembly polls has seen high-decible electioneering with scores of national and State leaders engaged in a campaign blitz for over a month.
# Congress, BJP men clash as electioneering ends
If you are taking the law into your own hands, then we will take action against you: Police
Some Congress and BJP activists reportedly clashed at BC Road on Thursday night after election campaigning came to an end.
The Congress has, in a complaint to the police, accused some BJP activists of assaulting the family members of Sanjeev Poojary, a member of the Congress campaign committee in Bantwal, and also misbehaving with them.
According to Superintendent of Police B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda, Congress activists reportedly confronted BJP activists at around 9.30 p.m. in the area.
This led to a heated exchange of words between the two groups, and a vehicle each of the two groups were damaged.
The Congress activists have accused the BJP workers of assaulting some of them, including Mr. Poojary, and then misbehaving with the women members of Mr. Poojary’s family in the latter’s house.
Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that complaints were filed by Mr. Poojary and Iqbal, a Congress activist, against 15 persons.
“We will verify the genuineness of the allegations and take action against the accused, if the allegations are found to be true,” he told reporters.
Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda asked workers of political parties to report poll code violations, if any, to the police or at the District Election Office control room and not to take the law into their own hands.
“If you are taking the law into your own hands, then we will take tough action against you,” he warned.
# TDP cadre attack Amit Shah convoy
BJP president escapes unhurt in Tirupati, party lodges complaint
The convoy of Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah was mobbed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) activists at Alipiri junction here on Friday, but the senior leader’s vehicle passed the spot much before the melee occurred.
The incident happened on Friday morning when the VVIP convoy was motoring down the Tirumala hills, where Mr. Shah had darshan of Lord Venkateswara earlier, praying for the party’s victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections.
The TDP city unit had given a call to its party workers to converge on Alipiri, the gateway to Tirumala hills, and stage a demonstration to express resentment to Mr. Shah over the “injustice” meted out to the State by the Union government.
However, the incident turned violent when some of the agitating activists breached the security cover around the convoy and accosted some of the vehicles. The windscreens of a vehicle in the entourage were damaged. The convoy was, however, rescued and escorted out in no time.
Eyewitness accounts at the Alipiri security point confirmed that one of the vehicles in the rear of the convoy came close to the demonstrating activists while manoeuvring a curve. “It is still not clear. As the car came close to one of our activists, the black flag in his hand touched the windscreen, which caused the damage. It is not intentional,” TDP city president Dampuru Bhaskar Yadav told The Hindu .
The party alleged provocation by BJP leaders seated in one of the cars. Taken aback, the policemen swooped down on the agitators, due to which senior TDP leader Singamsetty Subbaramaiah suffered a blow on his chest and swooned. He was rushed to SVIMS for treatment. Similarly, TDP district vice-president Gunasekhar Naidu suffered head injury.
The BJP, however, has a different version to narrate. Srikalahastheeswara Temple Trust Board former Chairman Kola Anand, whose car in the convoy suffered damage, called it a planned attack by the TDP, following instructions from “Amaravati”.
“How will the glass panes break on merely coming into contact with the flag staff. The TDP workers should explain why they targeted my vehicle,” he told this correspondent over telephone.
BJP spokesperson and former TTD Trust Board member G. Bhanuprakash Reddy, who lodged a complaint with the Superintendent of Police (Tirupati Urban), said it was not proper to target a “guest” for political reasons, who had arrived on a pilgrimage.
# 23 poll code violation cases registered
The District Election Officers have registered a total of 23 cases of violation of model code of conduct till May 10 in Chitradurga. FIR has been filed in all these cases.
According to Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer V.V. Jyothsna, the flying squad officers seized a total of Rs. 23,23,200 at different check-posts in the district. Of the seized amount, Rs. 22,63,200 has been returned to persons concerned after they submitted necessary proof for the cash. The flying squad officers have also seized different gift articles worth Rs. 39.5 lakh and a total of 2,601 litres of liquor in in the district.
# Facebook will remind you to vote
If you forget to vote, Facebook will come to your rescue. It will send reminders in your news-feed of those above 18 years about voting on Saturday. This reminder is linked to the website of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer and also provides details about polling booths. The arrangement between social media giant Facebook and the office of the CEO was announced on Friday. Facebook is attempting this in Karnataka after its succesfull introduction of a similar feature during polls in England. CEO Sanjiv Kumar said this would help in bringing more people to polling booths.
# Cong. wants Sriramulu disqualified
Video allegedly shows the Karnataka BJP candidate offering a bribe to relative of former SC judge
The Congress on Friday petitioned the Election Commission (EC) seeking disqualification of BJP candidate B. Sriramulu, who is contesting against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Badami constituency, after an eight-year-old video surfaced in the public domain where the candidate is allegedly seen offering a bribe to a relative of a former Supreme Court Judge.
“We have requested the Election Commission to disqualify B. Sriramulu from contesting and lodge an FIR against all those who appear in the video,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal after meeting the poll panel.
In a three-page memorandum, the party made four demands, including lifting the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer’s ban on local Kannada channels from showing the video and lodging an FIR against those seen in the video.
On Thursday, the Congress released two sting videos, believed to have been shot in 2010, where BJP leaders B. Sriramulu and G. Janardhana Reddy were allegedly seen negotiating with the son-in-law of a former Supreme Court Judge to get a favourable verdict in a mining scam.
‘Lift ban on telecast’
“This ban must be immediately lifted as the video is in the public domain and the kind of deal that is going on between politicians and judiciary must be part of the public discourse,”’ said Mr. Sibal. Another demand of the party was to curb some local channels including one owned by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar, from showing “provocative” programmes.
“BJP is now Bhrast (corrupt) Janardhan Party and we have placed very specific demands before the Election Commission,” said Congress’ communication chief Randeep Singh Surjewala.