Many candidates in the State shied away from filing nominations for the May 5 Legislative Assembly elections on Wednesday because of Amavasya (new moon day), which they believe is “inauspicious”.

Filing of nominations is expected to reach a peak on Monday, which they believe is “auspicious”.

The process of filing nominations to the Assembly elections commenced on April 10 following a notification issued by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj.

Only five

Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said five Independent candidates, including Minister for Textiles Varthur Prakash, filed nomination papers today. One candidate each from Haveri, Chickballapur and Raichur and two candidates from Kolar filed their papers. Mr. Prakash filed papers from Kolar, seeking re-election from there as an Independent. Mr. Prakash had extended support to the Bharatiya Janata Party government and was made a Minister.

Nomination papers will not be accepted on Thursday, Ugadi day, he told presspersons. The process is expected to pick up from Friday. April 17 is the last day for filing of nominations and April 20 is the last day for withdrawal of papers. The major political parties are yet to announce candidates to all the 224 constituencies.

Applications

A total of 14.79 lakh applicants have submitted completed forms to Returning Officers in various districts seeking inclusion of names in the electoral roll. A total of 9.15 lakh applications have been approved.

A total of 165 cases have been booked for violation of model code of conduct in the State. Authorities have seized cash of more than Rs. 1.83 crore and 14,735 litres of liquor meant to woo voters. The confiscation, till Tuesday, included Rs. 41 lakh recovered in Bellary and Rs. 80 lakh in Davangere, Mr. Jha said.

Asked about the Congress charge that saris, rice and other gifts were distributed by the former Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader P.G.R. Sindhia, Mr. Jha said he would look into the issue and direct the Returning Officer to take suitable action. The CEO has received 3,040 complaints, of them 1,431 have been settled.

Many follow suit

Bijapur Staff Correspondent reports:

This superstitious belief cut across party affiliations on Wednesday. Speaking to The Hindu , Basavantaraigouda Patil, Congress candidate from Indi segment, said he was “not superstitious”, but was going “according to the wishes of elders”. M.C. Managuli, a Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from Sindgi, who was reluctant to be tagged “superstitious”, also did not file his nomination on Wednesday.

Shivaputrappa Desai, a BSR Congress candidate contesting from Muddebihal, however, admitted that he was “a believer in Hindu tradition” and would contact an astrologer to find out the “auspicious day” for filing his papers.

Sanjeev Bhat, a noted astrologer of the city, said he had suggested to many candidates to refrain from filing nominations on Wednesday. “I have advised them to file on April 15,” he said.

Filing expected to reach a peak on Monday, which is ‘auspicious’

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