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JD-S seeks re-poll in Gowda constituency

The JD-S sought re-polling in three segments of HD Gowda's Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency.
PTI | By Indo-Asian News Service, Kanakapura, Karnataka
PUBLISHED ON APR 21, 2004 01:52 PM IST

The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Tuesday sought re-polling in three segments of Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency from where former prime minister HD Deve Gowda contested the general election.

The party alleged the Congress indulged in bogus voting in several polling booths in these segments in Kanakapura, about 60 km from state capital Bangalore.

JD-S leader and Gowda's son HD Kumaraswamy alleged state urban development minister and Congress candidate DK Shiv Kumar had escorted hundreds of bogus voters in 50-60 buses from Bangalore and supervised the illegal voting as police looked the other way.

In a fax message to chief election commissioner, JD-S president Gowda complained about alleged irregularities committed by the Congress and one of its cabinet ministers in his constituency. He sought a re-poll in the three segments of Kanakapura.

Kumaraswamy alleged Kumar's workers succeeded in casting about 41,000 bogus votes in Kodhihalli segment alone, where the total number of voters is 158,000.

State electoral officer Abhijit Dasgupta, however, said he was yet to receive an official report from the returning officer of Kanakapura constituency on the alleged bogus voting.

"For over three hours, Kumar, who is contesting the Sathnur assembly seat in Kanakapura, created terror and prevented genuine voters in at least a dozen assembly segments from reaching polling booths," Kumaraswamy told IANS.

"By creating tension and threatening violent attacks against JD-S workers, Kumar got the district police to impose prohibitory orders in Kodhihalli, Sathnur and Kanakapura to facilitate bogus voting by his henchmen."

Tension and sporadic violence was witnessed in these assembly segments till late Tuesday afternoon. To prevent the situation from going out of control, police resorted to a baton charge and burst teargas shells.

Shops and other business establishments too were closed for the day.

In a bid to prevent the alleged bogus voters from reaching Kodihalli and Sathnur from Kanakapura, hundreds of JD-S supporters blocked buses on the state highway and stoned them heavily.

About 20 buses were damaged and 10 buses were seized.

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