'Kidnapped' poll candidate surfaces, denies foul play

Claims he went on tour fearing election defeat

'Kidnapped' poll candidate surfaces, denies foul play

 Two days after the civic polls, an Independent candidate, alleged to have been kidnapped, has said he fled his constituency “fearing defeat in the election.”

“No one kidnapped me. I left the constituency fearing defeat in the election. No one ever put any pressure on me,” Muniraju, a candidate from the 28th ward, said at a press meet here on Saturday.

The run-up to the civic polls in Kolar was marked by complaints of abduction of candidates. Three such complaints were lodged in the City police station prior to voting on March 7.

Muniraju said after campaigning for two days, he realised he would lose the election and hence went on a tour of Bangalore and Tamil Nadu. He said he had informed only his wife about his plans before he left Kolar.

He also claimed that he had told his sister over the phone three days later that he had left Kolar ahead of voting.

“Some people have hatched a conspiracy and seen to it that my wife lodges a missing complaint. I have no knowledge of my wife lodging a complaint and the protests by my relatives. Losing the poll would dent my image and hence I stayed away,” he said.

However, the ‘clarification’ by Muniraju was not without contradictions. While he claimed he had been on a tour alone, he also said that he had been taken on a tour by some persons.

Muniraju said he came to Kolar from Bangalore at 10.30 pm on Friday and the police immediately took him into custody. He said the police questioned him throughout the night and that he had given them the true picture.

‘Strange excuse’

When asked why he did not simply withdraw from the elections by making a public announcement, instead of indulging in a complicated ruse, Muniraju offered a strange and incoherent answer.

“There should be some pressure in politics,” he said. “Is it fair that only the candidate should bear all the pressure? Police, the family of the candidate and the community at large should also share the burden,” he reasoned.

Sources in the police said there were contradictions in the statement given by Muniraju. Going by the facts, the sources said, the entire episode was pre-planned. “However, it has brought a bad name for the police,” the source said.

A police officer suspected that reports of Muniraju’s kidnap were false and that his suspicion had now come true. Two more cases of ‘kidnap’ are yet to be solved.

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