Mandya: Apprehensive if a free and fair election will happen, Sumalatha Ambareesh, independent candidate in Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, has urged the Election Commission of India to immediate transfer the Mandya Deputy Commissioner and the Returning Officer for the poll.
Besides, Mandya should be declared a 'highly-sensitive' constituency by taking into account the high-profile candidate in the fray, she demanded.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, she accused CM H.D. Kumaraswamy of misusing government machinery for his son and JD(S) candidate, Nikhil Kumaraswamy. It looks as though the chief minister's office is controlling the Mandya district administration. There is misuse of the government since the day Nikhil decided to contest from Mandya. And there is a feeling that the district machinery is working for the victory of Nikhil. Under these circumstances, one cannot expect a fair and free election. The Election Commission of India would be petitioned to immediately to transfer the district returning officer, she said.
Sumalatha gave a detailed account of how the district administration was acting in a partisan manner. Power supply and the cable network were cut in the city on the day she filed her nomination and addressed a huge rally. It is true that there would be pressure on officials since the CM’s son is in fray but they cannot bend laws to show favouritism. The SP wrote to the authorities of Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company Limited to ensure uninterrupted power supply on the day the CM's son filed his nomination. The Returning officer erred on different counts right from allowing Nikhil to file a fresh affidavit after he had left blanks during the filing of papers. When her poll agent, M.A. Madankumar objected to the acceptance of a fresh affidavit from Nikhil, it was rejected. Even the video footage of the scrutiny process on March 27 was not given for two days with officials claiming the videographer had taken the equipment to shoot a marriage function along with the memory card. “I feel a lot of injustice is happening in Mandya and I am doubtful of getting justice. So, I have decided to approach the ECI to transfer the returning officer so that the polls are unbiased".
She claimed the district returning officer had goofed up again by giving serial number one to Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the EVM and not considering the BSP candidate. The CM, to create confusion among voters, got three women with her name to file nomination papers. On the day Nikhil filed his nomination, Kumaraswamy had declared that his son's serial number would be number one and had appealed to people to vote for him. "How did Kumaraswamy declare this when the serial numbers are allotted after withdrawal of nomination papers. Does this not show a blatant misuse of the district administration by the CM?" she wondered....