Bypolls: Do or die battle for Siddaramaiah, H D Kumaraswamy

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siddu-kumarBANGALORE/MANDYA: Three political leaders’ — chief minister Siddaramaiah, former CM H D Kumaraswamy and senior Congress MLA D K Shiva Kumar — prestige is at stake as an estimated 35.32 lakh voters of both Lok Sabha constituencies Bangalore Rural and Mandya exercise their franchise on Wednesday.

It’s a do or die battle for all the three and the two MPs getting elected will have a short tenure of nine months, if, the Lok Sabha completes its full term. Counting of votes for both the constituencies will be on August 24.

The poll battle was a direct contest between the Congress and the combined opposition led by JD(S), BJP and KJP. The fringe outfits Samajwadi Party and the Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha (farmers party) supported the Congress. Also it was a proxy battle fought between chief minister Siddaramaiah and former PM H D Deve Gowda’s family with Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha pitched in the poll fight with Shiva Kumar’s brother D K Suresh Kumar. A victory for the Congress in Bangalore Rural would make the path easy fro Shiva Kumar to stake claim for a berth in the cabinet.

In Mandya, the Congress fielding Kannada actor Ramya added glamour in the Vokkaliga heartland. The JD(S) has fielded former legislator C S Puttaraju. The partiesin both constituencies largely indulged in mud slinging rather than taking up issues of the people.

Ramya violated poll code?

The actor was seen reaching out to the voters in a swanky Andhra Pradesh registered car with the label “Press” on the windshield on Tuesday. When media persons who caught up with her while visiting a local leader’s house asked about it, Ramya said she had taken permission for the concerned vehicle.

Election officials, when contacted, said they were verifying the records and if Ramya had taken permission there was no need for her to label her vehicle as “press”. ” We will verify both whether vehicle had the permission from the returning officer and whether the vehicle belonged to an accredited journalist” an official said. Returning officer D N Krishnaiah said he will verify the records and video recording before initiating action against her.

Petition to EC: Shiva Kumar petitioned Karnataka chief electoral officer Anil Kumar Jha to issue voters slips which were supposed to reach them by now. Voters of Rajarajeshwarinagar and Anekal had not received the voters’ slips, he added.

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