The BJP took a dig at Congress after it deferred its press briefing. The grand old party was scheduled to address the media around 10 am, however, it later said that the press conference would be held in the afternoon. Slamming the Congress, BJP said that it seems that Rahul Gandhi is unable to wake up in the morning.
On the other hand, South Indian film star Prakash Raj will file his nomination from Bengaluru Central as an independent candidate today. He had recently announced his Lok Sabha debut on Twitter.
In the run up to Karnataka assembly election, the actor had extensively campaigned against the BJP, while not identifying himself with any political party. Bengaluru Central is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by PC Mohan of the BJP. If Raj manages to win the seat, he would be scripting history of sorts as the last time an independent candidate won a Lok Sabha election in the state was Dinakara Desai (D D Dattatreya) from the Kanara constituency of the erstwhile Mysore state in 1967. He was preceded by another independent Sugandhi Murugappa Siddappa, who won from Bijapur North in 1957.
From 1951, when free India’s first general election was held, to the last one held in 2014, a total of 2,337 independents have contested the polls in Karnataka. That only two have won thus far shows that Karnataka’s electorate has not been kind to independents.
Another popular face in the fray is Sumalatha, the wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh. She is contesting as an independent candidate from the Mandya Lok Sabha seat. Sumalatha will be up against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, after the Congress denied her the ticket as the Mandya seat had been conceded to the JD(S).
Meanwhile, TTV Dinakaran’s AMMK released its second list of candidates. Disqualified MLA Thanga Tamilselvan has been fielded against O Panneerselvam’s son OP Ravindranath Kumar in Theni constituency.
Meanwhile, it has come to light that Raj has been booked by elections officials for allegedly violating the model code of conduct. The Hindu reported that Murthy D, an officer with the flying squad, said in his complaint that the actor had used a mic and campaigned at a public meeting near Mahatma Gandhi Circle on MG Road on March 12. The programme was organised under the banner, Media and Freedom of Expression, and was not a political event, he told the police.
Several writers, artists and activists who attended the programme claimed that the actor began to canvas for votes. A few attendees recorded his speech on their mobile phones and forwarded it to the officials, the report stated. By the time the flying squad reached the spot, the programme got completed and people had dispersed.
Election Tracker LIVE: ‘Yeddy Diaries’ Turn Up Poll Heat, Congress Says ‘Jailbird’ Yeddyurappa Made Rs 1,800 Crore Payoffs to Top BJP Leaders – News18