Nanaiah says official under pressure to say papers are lost
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is conspiring to postpone the elections to the posts of the president and the vice-president to the Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) for the second term, scheduled to be held here on Monday, by misusing the office of the election officer, M.C. Nanaiah, MLC, alleged here on Sunday.
Mr. Nanaiah told The Hindu that the State Government, the district administration and the BJP, would be held responsible for the consequences if the election got postponed on Monday. Election Officer M.R. Ravi would have to start the election process tomorrow from where he had stopped. The process had come to a halt at the time of scrutiny of nomination papers at 11 a.m. on December 22.
Mr. Ravi had to resume the proceedings by resorting to scrutiny of the nomination papers. The official had told him, Mysore MP A.H. Vishwanath and MLC T. John on December 22 that the nomination papers were safe. It was said that the nomination papers had been torn off by BJP councillors on December 22.
Mr. Nanaiah alleged that Mr. Ravi, who was the Assistant Commissioner, was being “pressured” by the BJP leadership to say that nomination papers submitted by the aspirants on December 22 had been destroyed by the rampaging BJP councillors on that day.
Mr. Ravi had to postpone the elections to January 10 following acts of violence by the councillors. This was a definite move of the BJP to buy some more time by getting the Monday's election postponed, Mr. Nanaiah alleged. The move was aimed at avoiding defeat of the BJP group, he added.
The BJP had pressured the Election Officer to go on leave on medical grounds earlier, which did not work, Mr. Nanaiah said. He accused the BJP of ‘murdering' democracy by resorting to unfair means. This was an example of how a ruling party could manipulate things to achieve its own ends unethically, Mr. Nanaiah said.