On election eve, rebel pulls a fast one on Congress

Dayananda Reddy strikes deal so that he or BJP nominee wins in B'luru

On election eve, rebel pulls  a fast one on Congress

Congress rebel candidate B T Dayananda Reddy in the Bengaluru seat has sprung a surprise by striking an agreement with the BJP, in a bid to outsmart Congress candidate M Narayanswamy. Reddy hopes that this poll-eve strategy will be a game-changer.

Late on Saturday, he met BJP legislator S R Vishwanath and party candidate Doddabasavaraju and struck a deal to support the latter, provided the saffron party too returned the favour. The BJP readily agreed to the proposal, which now gives an edge to Reddy and Doddabasavaraju, leaving Narayanswamy behind in the race.

Reddy told Deccan Herald that he had convinced BJP to ask its supporters to cast their second preferential votes to him, while his supporters would do the same in favour of Doddabasavaraju.

“As it is a triangular fight, none of the three candidates can gain a simple majority of the votes cast. So, I decided to approach the BJP. The second preferential votes would be the deciding factor. Now that the deal has been struck, the fight is between the BJP candidate and me,” he said.

Bengaluru has 2,762 voters and the winning candidate requires 1,381 votes to win. With the second preferential votes now being guaranteed for both Reddy and Doddabasavaraju, each candidate is hoping to bag nearly 1,000 votes.

Reddy, who has taken the Congress party, especially Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, head on, has vouched to defeat Narayanaswamy at any cost. A sitting MLC, he was denied ticket by the Congress, owing to his differences with Ramalinga Reddy.

“I want to prove to everybody that I am a better strategist that Ramalinga Reddy. While I am a strategist, he is a conspirator,” he said.

BJP district president Muniraju and MLA Satish Reddy are learnt to have given their consent to Reddy’s plan over phone.

CCTVs sought

JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy has requested the chief electoral officer (CEO) to instal CCTVs in all the polling booths in Kanakapura in Bengaluru Rural constituency.

In a complaint lodged withthe CEO on Saturday, Kumaraswamy has charged the Congress with misusing money and muscle power to influence the voters across the 25 constituencies, especially in Kanakapura. He has said that voters here are being “threatened” and “forced” by Congress leaders.

He has also demanded that the CEO declare Kanakapura a hyper-sensitive booth.

Key features

Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha has said that for the first time in Council elections, photographs of all candidates will have to be mandatorily carried in the ballot papers. Inclusion of None of the Above (NOTA) is another first this election. The voters will not have their fingers inked in these elections owing to their restricted numbers. They will be required to carry their EPIC card or any other ID.

Instruction manuals will be placed outside each booth, outlining the voting process. The electorate will be given violet sketch pens, which they have to use to number the candidates as per their preference. This is done to prevent misuse of ballot papers. Jha said that illiterate voters will be allowed to bring along companions to help them in the voting process.

Poll facts

 No electronic voting machines used as single transferable vote system is followed.
 Electoral college: Members of ZPs, TPs, GPs, Town Municipal Councils, City Municipal Councils, City Corporations, MLAs, MLCs, MPs.

 Constituencies: Bidar, Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Belagavi, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Raichur, Ballari, Chitradurga, Shivamogga, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Tumakuru, Mandya, Bengaluru, B’luru Rural, Kolar, Kodagu, Mysuru  Double-member constituencies: Belagavi, Mysuru,Dharwad, Vijayapura and Dakshina Kannada Voting hours: 8 am to 4 pm, TODAY

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