With bundles of saris meant to be distributed to voters having been seized in various places, the district administration is keeping a close watch on big textile shops in Davangere.

If anyone is seen buying saris in bulk, an official will discreetly inquire what the saris are meant for and where they are being taken.

But with marriage season in full swing, it is not unusual for saris and dhotis to be bought in bulk from major textile shops. This is proving to be a bit of a tricky problem for the officials playing detective. How do they distinguish between genuine buyers and the ones who are trying to pull the wool, or is it silk, over their eyes?

Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth: A man dressed in a dhoti and with a towel on his shoulder who comes to purchase saris in bulk is a ‘genuine buyer’. However, if a man comes in a car unaccompanied by women and makes purchases, he has ulterior motives.

Well, well. Now the cat is out of the bag.

Sending a message

At a time when unsuccessful ticket aspirants in mainstream political parties are going berserk, Siddaraju of Jyothigowdanapura village filed his nomination papers from Chamarajanagar constituency as an independent candidate.

The 47-year-old Siddaraju, who has a law degree, wants to bring equality among all sections of society. He was accompanied by his mother, Kempananjamma, when he came to the tahsildar’s office.

Mr. Siddaraju, who is married and has two children, lost one of his legs 15 years ago in an accident while working in a mine in Chamarajanagar. Another accident while he was employed by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) led to the amputation of the other leg.

The deposit of Rs. 2,500 required for contesting the elections was raised through contributions by people from his village.

“Winning and losing is part of any election, but I have entered the fray to send a message to the people that disabled people too can contest elections. They too can bring about change in society if people support them.”

H.S. NARASIMHA KUMAR AND SHANKAR BENNUR

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