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Karnataka polls: BJP candidate Muniratna uses tear trick while campaigning

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Wednesday was not a good day for N Muniratna, the BJP candidate from the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency. He not only faced a police complaint filed by the Congress alleging that he distributed cash to buy votes, but also cried while addressing an election meeting.

But political observers pointed out that the other candidates — Ammajamma, who is the wife of deceased MLA B Sathyanarayana and contesting on a JDS ticket from the Sira constituency, and Congress candidate H Kusuma from RR Nagar, who has lost her husband, IAS officer D K Ravi — have faced much severe hardships, but have not used tears to gain sympathy votes.

But there is a long list of politicians who have shed tears during polls. In the Parliamentary elections in 2019, JDS patriarch H D Deve Gowda, his grandson Prajwal Revanna and former minister H D Revanna shed tears during campaigning in Hassan. But it helped only Prajwal, who was the sole candidate fr0m the JDS to win in that election. JDS senior leader Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil too tried to use the trick to win votes in the Mandya Parliamentary elections, but lost badly to the independent candidate, Sumalatha Ambareesh.

KPCC president D K Shivakumar used it for a better effect during the Kundagol Assembly election in 2019. It helped Kusumavathi, wife of his deceased friend C S Shivalli, win by a small margin. Brand expert Harish Bijoor said, “Tears pack a lot of punch, especially during elections. There is nothing scarier for a candidate to see an opponent shed tears to gain a crucial edge.”

Congress files plaint against BJP candidate

A case has been filed against BJP candidate Muniratna, after the Congress accused him of offering money to voters. Based on a complaint filed by KPCC working president Saleem Ahmed, the Yeshwanthpur police registered a case against “Muniratna and his agents” and filed a First Information Report. Congress accused Muniratna and his supporters of offering Rs 5,000 each to voters and keeping their election ID cards.

“We met the DCP, who told us that they are conducting an inquiry. We have requested them to ensure that the elections are free and fair,” said Ahmed. “Similar complaints were filed against Muniratna during the last election,” he added.

In the 2018 election, Munirathna was in the Congress and the then BJP candidate Muniraju Gowda had filed a complaint against him. BJP spokesman Capt Ganesh Karnik, however, said the Congress has filed the complaint as it is losing in RR Nagar and Sira and is desperate. 

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