At last, the Janata Dal (Secular) has come out in open support of Independent candidate B. Sriramulu. Zameer Ahmed Khan, MLA and trusted lieutenant of State JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy, openly campaigned for Mr. Sriramulu in Cowl Bazar area in the city on Monday.

There were indications to this effect earlier, although Mr. Kumaraswamy did not clearly spell it out during his recent visit to Bellary. He had said that he was making an appeal to the voters to reject the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party and support an Independent candidate.

“An Independent candidate, capable of defeating the Congress and the BJP, should be supported,” he had said without mentioning that his party was supporting Mr. Sriramulu. Mr. Zameer Ahmed had been camping in the city for the past week. He participated in the road show along with Mr. Sriramulu just a couple of hours before public campaigning came to an end. There were many JD(S) leaders from the district who participated in the function.

Addressing a largely attended meeting, Mr. Zameer Ahmed appealed to the voters to vote for Mr. Sriramulu.

Mr. Sriramulu, in his address, said that support from the JD(S) had given him additional strength. Police complaint

Meanwhile, the Congress has strongly objected to the reported abusive and un-Parliamentary language used by Mr. Zameer Ahmed against some of the party leaders while addressing a public meeting here.

K.C. Kondaiah, MLC, along with J. Anjaneyalu, Bellary City district unit president, and a large number of supporters went to the Cowl Bazar Police Station to lodge a complaint against Mr. Zameer Ahmed.

However, N. Suryanarayan Reddy, president of the district unit of the JD(S) expressed his ignorance of the party deciding to support Mr. Sriramulu. “There has been no specific instruction from the State unit president H.D. Kumaraswamy on extending support to a particular Independent candidate. Pending specific instructions, we have not adopted a stand,” he clarified at a press conference here on Monday.

Denial

When he was told that Mr. Zameer Ahmed was extending full support to Mr. Sriramulu by campaigning in his favour, Mr. Reddy refused to comment stating that it might be in his personal capacity. “There is no decision taken by the party in this regard. Instructions are expected to be passed on by Mr. Kumaraswamy tomorrow,” he said.

Some of the local party leaders, including general secretary Mundargi Nagaraj, were present with Mr. Zameer Ahmed at the public function.

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