Bellary: Just before stepping out to cast his vote on Saturday, one of the most prominent candidates of BJP, B Sriramulu performed a "gau puja (cow worship)".
He was seen in images performing the ritual dressed in all-saffron, next to a cow smeared with turmeric.
The 46-year-old parliamentarian from Bellary is contesting against Congress leader and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the Badami constituency. He is also contesting from Molakalmuru near Bellary.
On Friday, the Congress urged the Election Commission to disqualify him over a 2010 video allegedly showing him trying to bribe the relative of a former chief justice to influence a verdict in a mining case involving Janardhana Reddy.
B Sriramulu is extremely close to the Reddy brothers, and their association has stayed intact through the upheavals within BJP.
With his wealth and power, along with the record of winning elections, Sriramulu has risen to the top of the BJP in Karnataka over the years. In Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, he and BS Yeddyurappa are the only parliamentarians to be fielded. Sriramulu was also among the few who were given a chopper to visit constituencies during the campaign.
There are speculations that Sriramulu could be the deputy chief minister of Karnataka if BJP is voted to power and party national president Amit Shah has not put out any strong denial to it.
The businessman, who lives in a luxurious home in Bellary with an indoor badminton court and a swimming pool, has gained the reputation of being a "do-gooder" among many locals often paying their bills and organising mass weddings....