Party workers pester voters in RR Nagar, block traffic

Party workers pester voters in RR Nagar, block traffic

A voter is amused as workers of both the Congress and the JD(S) beseech him to vote for their party in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Monday. DH PHOTO/SRIKANTA SHARMA R

In their zeal to woo voters, Congress and JD(S) workers blocked the main roads in RR Nagar and Mallathahalli on Monday, obstructing traffic and rendering the police helpless. 

As people in the RR Nagar Assembly constituency turned up to vote, workers of the two parties ran into them. The road leading to one of the polling booths — BET Convent in RR Nagar — was swamped with Congress and JD(S) workers. Police whisked a JD(S) worker off only to release him minutes later. Police efforts to keep the workers at bay were met with a stiff resistance. 

Ditto with Mallathahalli Main Road. The road was a chock-a-block as Congress and JD(S) candidates arrived to meet their respective workers. Though the place was well over 100 metres from the polling booth, the workers kept raising slogans in favour of their candidates. 

JD(S) candidate G H Ramachandra and his family, including the daughter-in-law and actor Amulya, voted at BET Convent. The polling booth at Mount Carmel English School saw Kannada actors Avinash and his wife Malavika (a BJP spokesperson), Ganesh and his wife Shilpa and Kannada writer Siddalingaiah casting their votes. Actor Darshan could not vote as he is away in Mumbai for a film shoot. 

Congress candidate Munirathna and many of his supporters entered the polling booth at Kanyakumari Vidya Samsthe in Mallathahalli for an inspection. But police allowed only four supporters to accompany Munirathna as people were still casting their vote in the booth. Munirathna spoke to women voters and greeted the polling officers. He later signed on the visitors' register. 

Reacting to the incident, Joint Chief Electoral Officer (Technical) Ramesh K N said candidates and their agents approved by the returning officer can enter the polling booth, but they cannot bring any unauthorised person. "The visitors' book is meant only for officials. I will investigate if there was any violation," he added. 

  • BJP workers alleged that JD(S) candidate G H Ramachandra and his daughter-in-law, actor Amulya, violated the model code of conduct by standing at the gate of a polling booth and greeting voters with folded hands. 
  • The BJP also took exception to Kannada film producer Rockline Venkatesh and some artistes canvassing for Congress candidate in Laggere. 
  • Polling stopped for over an hour in Laggere and Kottegepalya as EVMs malfunctioned. 
  • At HMT school, polling officers made no effort to give details of all the candidates.
  • Some booths were poorly lit, making it difficult for voters to exercise their franchise.