The Election Commission has sprung into action in Hassan and Mandya districts, where JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s grandsons Prajwal and Nikhil, respectively, are making their electoral debut.
On Saturday, Hassan deputy commissioner Akram Pasha was shunted out close on the heels of Hassan BJP legislator Preetham Gowda complaining against him with the Election Commission. Gowda had charged that Pasha had a good number of relatives and contacts with political leaders in Hassan district, preventing a free and fair election.
Pasha, who had taken charge only a month ago, has been replaced with IAS officer Priyanka Mary Francis.
The JD(S) has fielded Prajwal, son of Public Works Minister H D Revanna. He is taking on BJP’s A Manju.
In Mandya, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar said allegations that deputy commissioner N Manjushri had taken a “one-sided” decision in clearing the nomination papers filed by Nikhil would be inquired into.
Independent candidate Sumalatha, who is supported by the BJP, had complained that Nikhil’s nomination papers were not in order. Her election agent had pointed out that his papers did not have Form No 26 (affidavit), Column 7, 7A and 8. Manjushri cleared his papers on the grounds that the Representation of the People Act allowed candidates to file the remaining affidavits during scrutiny.
“We have noted the concerns being raised (about one-sided action) and we will have an inquiry,” Kumar said during his visit to Mandya in light of the confusion surrounding Nikhil’s nomination papers.
Kumar also pointed out that once the returning officer accepted the nomination after scrutiny, the legal remedy could be sought only in court. “But we will look at whether or not there were any administrative lapses,” he added.
Nikhil, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, is the JD(S) candidate against Sumalatha, the wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, who is contesting as an independent after the Congress denied her the ticket.
Sumalatha has complained that the state government was misusing official machinery to her disadvantage. Earlier in the week, the BJP petitioned the EC seeking the transfer of over a dozen “biased” officers across the state.
Also, Vijayapura DC Y S Patil has been transferred. The JD(S) is contesting the Bijapur seat. Patil was earlier the personal secretary to then water resources minister M B Patil. He was also the director of the horticulture department. Horticulture Minister M C Managuli of the JD(S) is Vijayapura district in-charge minister.