Hubballi: BJP leaders Joshi, Shettar held for barging' into district office

Mr Joshi and Mr Shettar had led a dharna at the spot a little earlier, demanding that Gouda be allowed to vote in ZP election.

Hubballi: State BJP president Prahlad Joshi and opposition leader, Jagadish Shettar were taken into custody by the police as they tried to barge into the office of the Dharwad deputy commissioner with hundreds of their party workers here on Saturday, demanding release of BJP candidate for Hebballi ZP seat Yogish Gouda, who was arrested for allegedly trying to assault police officials on poll duty.

Claiming that district in-charge minister, Vinay Kulkarni had ordered Mr Gouda’s arrest, protesters jostled with the police, trying to break the security cordon at the gate of the Dharwad DC’s office, shouting slogans and setting tyres on fire. The window panes of a police van were damaged in the violence.

Mr Joshi and Mr Shettar had led a dharna at the spot a little earlier, demanding that Mr Gouda be allowed to vote in the election to the ZP. But the administration refused to oblige as the BJP candidate is in judicial custody for a non-bailable offence.

This angered the BJP leaders and workers, who then tried to barge into the deputy commissioner's office. Claiming that Mr Gouda was arrested while trying to stop Congress workers from distributing money among voters, Mr Joshi charged that minister Kulkarni had ordered his arrest.

“The minister is trying to curtail the fundamental rights of a candidate. Why did the police not take action when Mr Kulkarni was seen campaigning after 11 pm?” he said.

Deputy commissioner Rajendra Cholan, however, said the BJP candidate was arrested for trying to prevent a police sub-inspector from doing his rounds in Amminabavi village.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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