Bengaluru: The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has petitioned the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka to annul the Ramanagara Assembly bypoll after its candidate, L Chandrashekar took a sudden decision to retire from the fray just 48 hours before polling.
BJP SC Morcha officebearer, Chi.N. Ramu and others submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer here on Friday, requesting him to annul the byelection and book a case against Mr Chandrashekar for “taking a bribe from the Congress” to withdraw from the poll.
The BJP leaders argued that Mr Chandrashekar’s decision had defeated the democratic process of polling , which would have seen the BJP pitted against the JD(S) in the constituency.
Alleging manipulation and corruption by JD(S) candidate Anitha Kumaraswamy, her husband and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress leader D K Suresh, the leaders claimed they had colluded to ensure it was a no- contest election.
“This has been done to derail the democratic process. The BJP did not withdraw its candidate and its symbol figures in the ballot box, but he has jumped to the Congress. So the election must be annulled as the BJP is without a representative,” the memorandum added.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Ramu said, “Our candidate is dead to us as he is not physically with us. It is therefore necessary for the Election Commission to annul the bypoll. If it doesn’t, we will approach the High Court.”
He also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was against the state government’s decision to allow scheduled caste students to mention their religion as Buddhist in the required forms when applying for admission to schools . “If the student has converted to Buddism it is okay to mention his religion, but he cannot write it in a column specified for Hindus,” the BJP leader stressed....