Mandya: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Sanjiv Kumar, has ordered an inquiry into complaints that the Mandya Deputy Commissioner and District Returning Officer (DRO), N Manjushree, has been partisan in handling the nomination papers of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son, Nikhil, who has been fielded by the JD(S) from Mandya this Lok Sabha poll.
The CEO paid a surprise visit to Mandya on Saturday on receiving complaints from independent candidate, Sumalatha Ambareesh, that the DRO was allowing Mr Nikhil to fill the blank portions of his affidavit after he had filed the original along with his nomination papers.
Mr Sanjiv Kumar said an inquiry would be held against the District Returning Officer to see if she had given a one sided ruling on Mr Nikhil's nomination papers despite the strong objection raised by Mr M Madan Kumar, an agent of Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh. "I have ordered an inquiry to see whether there were any administrative lapses on the part of the DRO and if she gave a one- sided ruling on the errors in Mr Nikhil's nomination papers,” he said.
Asked about Ms Sumalatha's contention that the DRO did not reject the JD(S) candidate despite the errors in his nomination papers, the CEO said the scrutiny of the papers was a closed chapter and the only option she had was to move the court in the matter.
The issue has become a source of embarrassment for the Congress-JD(S) coalition, which has been accused of misusing government machinery to ensure the victory of Mr Nikhil from Mandya.
Ms Sumalatha has claimed that Mr Nikhil had left blanks in his affidavit, which has to be mandatorily filled when filing a nomination for the poll.
While acknowledging that Mr Nikhil had not filled certain columns in the affidavit, the DRO, however, said he was allowed to make the corrections in accordance with poll rules. As the JD(S) candidate had submitted a fresh affidavit before the scrutiny of all poll documents, his nomination paperswere in order, she had maintained.
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