Staff Correspondent

BJP may resort to ‘unfair means’: Veena Achaiah

‘BJP’s tactics cost us the elections the last time’

Madikeri: The president of the Kodagu district Congress, Veena Achaiah, on Wednesday urged the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police to take steps to ensure a free and fair local bodies elections in Kodagu, slated for Friday.

Speaking to presspersons here, Ms. Achaiah said the Congress feared that the BJP could resort to “unfair means” during the voting process such as bringing in voters in groups and asking each one of them to show the ballot papers to the other after casting the vote to make sure that the vote had gone for the BJP candidate. It had cost the Congress dear in the previous elections. Such a message had gone across to all voters owing allegiance to the BJP at a meeting here on Tuesday, she alleged.

Ms. Achaiah also wanted the election officials to ban mobile phones inside the polling booths as they could be used to click pictures showing proof of voting. She expressed the confidence that the party candidate T. John would win by a big margin. The Congress leadership had issued ticket to Mr. John considering his contribution to the growth of the party and his chances of winning, she added.

Party spokesperson T.P. Ramesh said the support to Mr. John from the Janata Dal (Secular) had boosted the prospects of the Congress candidate.

He lashed out at the BJP Government in the State saying that the existence of the Government itself had become doubtful after the infighting within BJP ranks.

If the BJP was found to influence the voters or coerce them to vote, the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) would organise protests in front of such booths, he said and urged the district administration and the police to take precautionary steps to prevent any unsavoury incidents.

Former Minister Suma Vasant said that Mr. John was not new to the district. He had strived for the district’s sake as Minister in the S.M. Krishna Government and as vice-president of the Madikeri City Municipal Council (then a town municipal council).