SHIKARIPUR: Was the large gathering near the tahsildar’s office here on Monday a violation of the model code of conduct when the former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa arrived there to file his nomination papers?
It appears so. The police failed in controlling the crowd near the tahsildar’s office where the returning officer received the nomination papers. Entry of vehicles or gathering of more than five persons within a radius of 100 metres from the office of the returning officer has been banned. A senior police officer has been made nodal officer and put in-charge of security arrangements in and around the office of the returning officer.
He has to videograph the candidates and their supporters accompanying them and the vehicles used by them. A circular issued by the Police Department has asked the nodal officers to allow only five persons, including the candidate, inside the office of the returning officer.
The incident on Monday could have been avoided if security was tightened in anticipation of a large crowd at the time of filing of nomination papers by Mr. Bangarappa.
After offering puja at the Hucharayaswamy temple, Mr. Bangarappa came to the tahsildar’s office in a van. A large number of people followed him raising slogans.
The police stopped the van carrying Mr. Bangarappa near the barricade and asked him to go to the tahsildar’s office along with four persons only.
However, the pleas by the police were ignored and the van was taken inside the restricted area and was stopped in front of the tahsildar’s office.
Policemen deployed at the entrance to the tahsildar’s office had a tough time in controlling the crowd. Mr. Bangarappa was accompanied by Congress leaders Nagarada Mahadevappa and T.S. Mahalingappa, president of the taluk unit of the Samajwadi Party Kabaddi Rajanna and Siddhalingappa.
The crowd outside the tahsildar’s office surrounded Mr. Bangarappa’s van as he came out of the tahsildar’s office. Nearly, 5,000 people had assembled to greet Mr. Bangarappa, who is contesting against the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.