The three Lok Sabha seats in Bengaluru City have registered the lowest voting percentages among the 14 constituencies that went to polls on April 18 in the ongoing general election. While other seats registered healthy voting percentages of above 75%, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru North, and Bengaluru Central had polled less than 60%.
Though the voters of the city, the home to large number of IT professionals, were mocked for their lack enthusiasm in voting, now it has emerged that eligible voters in large numbers could not exercise their franchise because their names were just not there on the voters’ list when they went for voting.
Prahallad PS, a college teacher has approached the Election Commission with a written complaint stating that over 1,50,000 names, seemingly favourable to a particular political party, have been deleted from the voters’ list in the city. Prahallad has argued that the deletion in such large numbers could affect the results.
Now the State Election Commission has ordered an enquiry, though the Chief Election Officer Sanjiv Kumar has said that prime facie there was summary deletion of voters’ names this year and every deletion was based on an application. Now the District Election Officer has been asked to look into the matter and submit a report within a week.
Will a true picture of missing names of city voters emerge after a week?
The Bengaluru South parliamentary constituency had made it to national headlines last month when the BJP chose the 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya over Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the widow of former Union minister Ananth Kumar. Now Tejaswini has filed a police complaint over a NOTA campaign in her name, urging to vote for NOTA in high numbers for replacing her with Tejasvi.
The poster (shown in the image above) has been making rounds on WhatsApp and social media.
“Vote NOTA in Bengaluru South to support Tejaswini Ananth Kumar” the header says. Then an appeal is made to the party workers: “We all karyakartas know that Tejaswini Ananth Kumar was the most deserving candidate to become the member of Parliament from Bengaluru South. Due to the games played by the other members of the BJP she has missed the ticket and an immature, arrogant boy has taken her place. Let us vote for NOTA in high numbers to show the high command that we are all with Tejaswini Ananth Kumar Ji”.
Tejaswini on Monday termed the campaign “unfounded and malicious” in her tweet. She also told the media that she has filed a police complaint and requested the cyber crime division to take strict actions against the offenders.
It came to my knowledge that somebody is spreading rumours that I am asking people to vote for NOTA. This is unfounded and malicious. For me it's VOTE BJP Modi Again National First @BJP4India@BJP4Karnataka
The choice of state leadership to represent the seat, which her husband had been holding since 1996, Tejaswini had even begun her campaign when the last minute announcement on Tejasvi was made on March 26. Since then, she has reconciled with the party’s decision and announced her resolve to work to help Narendra Modi return to power. She has been also made Vice President of Karnataka BJP. She even appeared on stage to greet Modi in a campaign rally in Bangalore on April 13.
Incidentally Bengaluru South is considered as a BJP bastion where newbie Tejasvi Surya of the party is pitted against Congress veteran BK Hari Prasad. Despite internal differences over Tejasvi’s candidacy in the BJP, he is expected to win the seat at the end. However, the Congress has been already in the fore front of a character assassination campaign against him based on Twitter statements by a business woman.
Now there can be no prize for guessing who is behind this mischievous NOTA campaign.