A contest for 11 seats of the Legislative Council from the Legislative Assembly is now inevitable with the returning officer approving all the nomination papers and none of the candidates seeking to retire. Voting will now take place on June 11, and the counting and results will be declared the same day.
The nomination papers of four of the 12 candidates in the fray for 11 seats which were put on hold after scrutiny on Saturday were cleared on Monday but not before arguments were put across by the candidates concerned. The filing of papers for the elections is indicative of the casual approach by not merely the candidates concerned but also by the political parties that they represent.
Secretary of the Legislative Assembly Om Prakash, who is also the returning officer for the elections had initially declined to state the technical reasons for putting the nomination papers on hold, but subsequently allowed the candidates to contest.
The other nomination papers which were kept pending were that of Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi (Congress), S.M. Agha (Janata Dal–Secular) and Byrathi Suresh (Independent), who is contesting with the support of the JD(S).
The lapses of these candidates reportedly pertained to the stamp paper used for filing the affidavit — Rs. 20 instead of Rs. 50, as prescribed. This was, however, overruled since the contents of the affidavit (relating to assets and liabilities and criminal complaints, if any) were more important than the stamp value of the paper. The nomination papers of T.D.R. Harishandra Gowda (Independent) was rejected outright as it did not have the minimum support of 10 members of the Legislative Assembly.
The final list of candidates for the elections to the Upper House comprises six candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party — B.J. Puttaswamy, Vimala Gowda, D.S. Veeraiah , Raghunath Rao Malkapure, M.B. Bhanuprakash and Somanna Bevinamarada; four of the Congress — Motamma, Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, K. Govindaraju, and M.R. Seetharam, one of the Janata Dal (S) — Mr. Aga, and Mr. Suresh.
The biennial elections have drawn attention with objections raised over the nomination papers of a Congress candidate (K. Govindaraju) on the ground that he held an office of profit, being chairman of the Karnataka Sports Authority, which is an elected body. The returning officer, however, overruled the objections on the grounds that the sports authority was akin to various other State boards and corporations and other agencies of the government had been granted exemption from the provisions of the legislation.
It is the first time in a biennial election to the Upper House here that objections have been raised on nomination papers with reference to office of profit.
Keywords: Karnataka politics