Cong MLA, son booked for distributing gifts: Police
A day after the Election Commission (EC) brought the code of conduct into effect, authorities seized gifts distributed by Davanagere Congress MLA Dr Shamanur Sivashankarappa and his son S.S. Mallikarjun and registered a case against them.
On Wednesday, the EC announced that the elections in the state would be held in a single phase on May 10, while counting would take place on May 13.
Police said Davangere South assembly constituency MLA Shamanur Shivshankarappa and his son, Mallikarjun, a former MLA from the Davangere North assembly constituency, distributed gift packets containing sarees to voters “in the name of SS and SSM fan club”.
The KTJ Nagara police seized gift packets worth ₹7.19 lakh.
‘’Acting on a tip, police officials raided Davanagere north and south constituency on Wednesday and recovered gift packets containing sarees worth ₹7.19 lakh,‘’ Davanagere superintendent of police (SP) C B Rishyanth told HT.
“We have registered a case against Shivashankarappa and their son S S Mallikarjun. We are also conducting surprise checks in extensions at night to trace luring incidents,” he added.
The police named Shamanur Sivashankarappa A1 (first accused) and his son Mallikarjun A2 (second accused) and booked them for violating the election code of conduct by luring voters through gifts under section 171 C (undue influence at elections) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Meanwhile, the videos of the women of the southern constituency of Davanagere setting fire to the sarees gifted by Shamanur Shivshankarappa have gone viral on social media.
Expressing outrage that they are “not poor enough to keep ₹60 worth of saree”, the women burnt them, according to one of the videos. HT cannot verify the authenticity of the videos.
Police said the sarees were distributed to the homes in bags with portraits of the MLA and his son in the name of SS and SSM fans.
However, the women criticised the quality of the sarees and alleged that the constituency leaders were trying “to cheat voters by distributing sarees without developing the constituency”, the women set fire to the sarees in the middle of the road, people close to developments said.
“Bhasha nagar in Davanagere south constituency has no proper drainage system. The mosquito menace is rampant. Despite the Netas not developing the constituency, they are luring voters by distributing sarees,‘’ Muslim leader Mansoor Ali told reporters.
He said poor residential areas lack basic amenities, but Congress leaders are throwing gift packets at houses.
The outrage of voters over this episode?, particularly in Muslim-dominated areas who are the traditional voters of Congress, upset Davanagere Congress leaders,according to party leaders.
The Congress leaders have refused to comment on the matter.
A similar incident was reported in the Ramanagara district on March 26. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers distributed sarees to Muslim families, who set fire to the saree in the middle of the road.
The incident took place in the 17th ward of Channapatna town in the Ramanagara district. Former minister C.P. Yogeshwar distributed sarees to every house in Channapatna through BJP workers to mark the Ugadi festival.
Muslim women burnt more than 30 sarees in the middle of the road reportedly saying that during Ramzan, it is not acceptable to take gifts.
However, officials close to developments said the women expressed anger against the BJP for revoking reservations for Muslims.