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A historical link One of the candidates in Kolar Lok Sabha (SC) constituency has an interesting link to two legendary historical figures. G. Chandranna, the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate in Kolar, hails from Devanahalli in neighbouring Bangalore Rural district, which happens to be the birth place of Hyder Ali’s son Tipu Sultan, who fought the British. And Boodikote, in Bangarapet taluk near the Kolar Gold Fields, the birth place of Hyder Ali comes under the Kolar constituency! There is a monument in a dilapidated condition there that reminds the visitors about Hyder Ali’s birth and childhood.

Black arm band for Scindia Congress candidate from Guna and Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is wearing a black arm band, as a mark of protest for the murder of party legislator from Madhya Pradesh, Makhan Lal Jatav and to highlight the lack of response from the authorities to catch the culprits. Mr. Jatav, who won from Bhind Assembly constituency last November, was killed earlier this month; his son has alleged that a prominent BJP local leader had a hand in this. Although police had rounded up a few suspects, the Congress is charging that the Shivraj Singh Chauhan government is trying to shield those behind the killing. Besides wearing the arm band, Mr. Scindia has also decided not to accept garlands during the election meetings as a mark of respect to the slain leader.

Malingerers warned A section of government employees in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district have taken recourse to a time-tested formula — falling ill — to avoid poll duty. The District Magistrate’s office is getting applications from employees citing health reasons to opt out of the polling process. Some are even furnishing train tickets as evidence of planned trips to hospitals in south India for treatment. A few have even gone to the extreme of getting plaster casts to prove that their broken limbs render them unfit for poll duty. District Magistrate Bandana Yadav, however, is not taking them seriously. “According to Election Commission’s rules, such applicants have to appear before a medical board. If the medical board does not approve of the stated illness, it will be compulsory for the employee to join poll duty,” Ms. Yadav says. She did not even rule out disciplinary proceeding against such employees.

Turban-o-meter

Turbans are doing a brisk business in the Marwar region of Rajasthan with electioneering being stepped up. There is a heavy demand in and around Jodhpur for the traditional headgear among candidates of various political parties and their supporters. As the turbans reflect the caste, culture and profession of wearers, the candidates get a fair estimate of the strength of different communities attending the election meetings and plan their strategy accordingly. Members of the Bishnoi community wear white turbans, Raikas bright red and the Rajputs “Panchranga” (five-coloured). Turbans have also been converted into the campaign material these days and are being manufactured in the party colours to get the support of voters.

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