Monday, the last day of filing nomination papers for the BBMP elections saw a flurry of activity as candidates took out processions and burst crackers before swarming the offices of the returning officers.
Major crowds were of the Congress candidates whose list was out only on Sunday evening, which was followed by JD(S) and BJP. The JD(S) had released its first list on Saturday and the second list on Monday, due to which they too contributed substantially to the swelling crowds at the offices of the returning officers. The third list of the BJP, comprising 44 candidates, was out on Monday morning.
In the wake of the enormous crowd, Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban V Shankar announced that the candidates reaching the office of the returning officer before 3.30 pm will be permitted to submit their papers till 7.30 pm.
It was only on Monday that the citizens witnessed a politically charged atmosphere, ever since the BBMP elections were announced. Long rallies leading to traffic jams, bursting of crackers, sloganeering, party flags, candidates reaching out to their electorate and intensification of allegations and counter-allegations.
The seven Congress candidates for wards in Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituency took out a mammoth procession on a truck to the office of the returning officer.
mar. At Padmanabhanagar, L Shobha Nagaraj took out a grand rally ahead of filing the papers. In Uttarahalli ward, Congress candidate Varaprasad Reddy, BJP candidate Hanumanthaiah and JD(S) candidate Usha Rani took out grand processions for filing the papers.
Many candidates sought divine intervention before filing the papers. A few visited shrines to offer prayers.
A BJP leader said, “As it is the last day, the candidates left no stone unturned to reach out to citizens. For the rallies and campaigning, Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 or even more is spent.”
The campaigning that started in the morning went on till noon in a few constituencies. While for the parties, it was a day of celebration, for office-goers it was a nightmare as the roads were blocked. Residents complained of messy streets that were strewn with the leftovers of fire crackers and election paraphernalia.
S Umesh, a resident of Lakkasandra, said, “For the last three days, crackers are being burst in our locality. Despite the High Court order banning any activity leading to noise pollution, the rules are flouted. Apart from dirtying the streets, crackers lead to air pollution.”
Residents in HSR Layout, C V Raman Nagar and HBR Layout too complained of messy streets.