'Fake Pepsi' torments BJP candidate for Council elections

BJP candidate for the Legislative Council elections from South-East Teachers’ constituency P R Basavaraju was apprehensive that his “namesakes” will also file nominations to confuse voters. Hence, while filing his nomination papers for the February 3 election, Basavaraju decided to identify himself as ‘P R Basavaraju (Pepsi)’.

He used the ‘Pepsi’ tag since he had worked as the HR head of the soft drink firm for several years and was well known for his association with the multi-national company. But to his shock, the final list of 17 candidates for the polls not only had two more Basavarajus’ but both appeared with the ‘Pepsi’ tag – one went by the name ‘Pepsi Basavaraju’ and the other has filed his nomination as ‘Basavaraja (Pepsi)’.

They too used the option provided by the Election Commission of India to use a name tag to set them apart for dummy namesake candidates. The “original” Basavaraju says his opponents fielded namesakes and also used similar name tags to confuse the electorate and rob him of his votes.

Interestingly, Basavaraju’s opponent and JD(S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu, who is contesting on his party ticket, also has a namesake in the final candidates’ list. There are 21,354 voters in the constituency spread over the districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Chitradurga and parts of Davangere.

The voters should have registered themselves in the rolls prepared by ECI and should have been a teacher in a secondary school or above for at least three years during the past six years.

The three candidates from the main parties, T N Niranjan (Congress), P R Basavaraju (BJP) and Ramesh Babu (JD-S), are touring the constituency and meeting voters personally.
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