While two tried to end their lives in Bidar, one did in Bangalore

Four days after the election process was initiated, three persons have attempted suicide. This is ostensibly to draw the attention of their respective political party heads to obtain a party ticket for a candidate of their choice. While two people tried to end their lives in Bidar, one reportedly did so in Bangalore.

Complaints have also surfaced of “match fixing” of a new kind. While in the past, candidates would go into voluntary retirement during the run-up to an election, this has now given way to a new trend: to allegedly win over a rival party even before it gives the ticket to a candidate who can muster the support of a majority of voters. This is the charge that has been levelled by the former Minister Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli.

In Bidar, on Saturday, two workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who were upset that Mr. Gurupadappa’s son, Suryakanth, was denied the party ticket, doused themselves with kerosene while moving in a procession along with a large number of people to register their protest with the district head of the BJP. Timely intervention by the people and the police prevented them from self-immolation.

Police sources told The Hindu that no case has been registered against the two persons since there was no apparent threat to life. “It was more a melodrama, and consequently does not warrant any action.”

Interestingly, Bhagavanth Khuba, who has been given the BJP ticket, is yet to file nomination papers, even as Mr. Suryakanth exudes confidence that he will get the ‘B’ form before the deadline for filing of nominations draws to a close.

In Bangalore, a supporter of the former Railway Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief, upset over the denial of ticket to the veteran Congressman, consumed poison and his condition is stated to be serious.

Incidentally, Mr. Sharief is away from Bangalore on a pilgrimage.

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) M.N. Reddi said the State police had constituted anti-suicide squads in all the district headquarters, apart from the elaborate security arrangements, in view of the Lok Sabha elections. The cases in Bangalore and Bidar, however, do not warrant police intervention since they did not pertain to a major or emotive issue.

He said the services of the special squads, comprising plainclothes policemen, a medical team and an ambulance will be utilised during processions and demonstrations, wherein a slight delay in timely action could escalate into a major law and order problem.

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