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Time is of the essence for filing nomination papers

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Reluctant: Nagaraj (right) leaving after filing his nomination, as BJP candidate P.C. Mohan waits for his turn.
Reluctant: Nagaraj (right) leaving after filing his nomination, as BJP candidate P.C. Mohan waits for his turn.

K. Gopinathan

BANGALORE: That politicians look to the stars is common knowledge. What the astral bodies foretell becomes all the more crucial during the run-up to elections. When they leave home, the time they arrive at a certain venue, all become crucial to the point of getting in the other people’s way. Some even go to the extent of equipping themselves with a compass to look for the right direction in whatever auspicious act they are doing, resulting in comical sights where they seem to be addressing empty spaces, turning away from the Returning Officer.

One such situation arose on Thursday when a colourfully named gent, Nagaraj alias Bomb Naga, turned up at the Gandhinagar electoral office to file his nomination paper as an independent candidate. This was inconvenient for P.C. Mohan, the BJP candidate who followed shortly thereafter. While Mr. Nagaraj was seated in front of the Returning Officer, Mr. Mohan, waiting outside, grew increasingly agitated. He kept glancing at his watch and it was apparent that his auspicious time was running out.

However, Mr. Nagaraj was not a young man in a hurry. After all, besides his papers, he had to file those of his wife as well as brother. All this took time. It also transpired that his brother’s papers were not in order and entailed more formalities. And so he continued to occupy the chair.

Mr. Mohan finally could not stand it any longer. He barged in along with his wife and followers and thrust his papers at the Returning Officer and rushed out of the claustrophobic room without waiting to complete the usual rituals such as taking the oath, relief writ large on his face: he had kept the auspicious deadline.

Mr. Nagaraj, in the meanwhile, stayed put in the chair, ignoring the Returning Officer’s insistence that he leave and come again when his brother’s papers were ready. Seeing that the friendly persuasions were largely ineffective, the police on duty stepped in and escorted Mr. Nagaraj out. This was the cue for Mr. Mohan to come back and complete the formalities.

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