Dakshina Kannada gears up for Lok Sabha elections; additional security to be deployed in 171 sensitive polling stations

News Network
March 3, 2024

Mangaluru, Mar 3: As the Lok Sabha polls are looming, Dakshina Kannada district administration is gearing up to the election process smoothly. According to Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan M P, there are 171 sensitive polling stations in the district, where additional security measures will be deployed during the polls.

While the district has 1,876 polling stations, the district administration has sufficient number of EVMs and VVPAT machines. He said officials have been directed to make necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of the elections.

At a preparatory meeting held on Thursday, the DC directed officials to ensure basic infrastructure is available at all polling stations across the eight assembly segments in the district.

Drinking water supply, wash rooms, electricity and other facilities should be provided to the polling stations, he added.

Directing the officials from police and other departments to set up checkpoints at all Kerala-Karnataka border entry points, the DC said vehicles entering the district should be checked thoroughly. “Teams should be formed to man the checkposts, and they should work there everyday. Basic facilities should be provided for the staff at the checkposts,” the DC said.

Insisting officials to work in a coordinated manner, the DC said officials on election duty should work responsibly and ensure that there should be no lapses in their work.

The DC said there is a need to keep a watch on the transactions in nationalised, private and cooperative banks in the district. He also insisted that bank officers should be appointed as micro-observers. ZP CEO Dr Anandh K, SP C B Ryshyanth, DCP Siddharth Goyal, additional DC Santhosh Kumar and others were present.

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News Network
April 16,2024

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New Delhi:  Twenty-nine Maoists, including a senior rebel leader - Shankar Rao, who had a bounty of ₹ 25 lakh on his head - were killed by security forces during an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday afternoon. A huge quantity of weapons, including Ak-47 and INSAS rifles, were recovered. 

Three security personnel were injured in the gunfight, which took place in forests near the village of Binagunda after a joint team of District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force were attacked.

Two of the three injured are from the BSF. Their condition is stable but the third - from the DRG - is in critical care. All three received treatment at a local hospital and are to be shifted to a larger facility.

Sources said the fighting began at around 2 PM, when a joint DRG-BSF team was conducting an anti-Maoist operation. The DRG was set up in in 2008 to combat Maoist activities in the state, and the Border Security Force has been deployed extensively in the area to for counter-insurgency ops.

There was another encounter in the district last month, in which two people - a Maoist and a cop - were killed, and security forces recovered a gun, some explosives, and other incriminating materials.

Personnel from the DRG and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police force, with the Border Security Force, were involved in that operation, officials told news agency PTI. The patrolling team was cordoning off a forested area when fired on indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle.

In November last year, while the state was voting in the first phase of an Assembly election, a gunfight broke out between security forces and Maoist rebels in the same district.

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

On the same day, while polling was taking place, Maoists fired at DRG personnel deployed near a polling station in Banda in Dantewada district.

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said his party is in a comfortable position as there is no 'Modi wave' in the state.

He claimed that the BJP did nothing in the state during its four years rule and did not fulfill any of its promises.

"Congress is in a very comfortable position as far as Karnataka is concerned. There is no Modi wave in Karnataka because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not left any footprint in Karnataka during the last 10 years of his rule," Shivakumar said in an exclusive interview to PTI.

He said while crores of rupees had been collected as taxes from Karnataka by the Union government, the state did not get anything in return, even during the severe drought being faced in 230 out of 236 taluks.

On BJP fielding noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath against his brother and three-time MP D K Suresh in Bengaluru Rural constituency, Shivakumar claimed that Congress will win with a victory margin of over two lakh votes.

Regarding the BJP-JD(S) electoral tie-up in Karnataka, Shivakumar said it is a failed alliance and the people will reject them.

"(H D) Kumaraswamy (JD(S) leader and NDA's Mandya candidate) and all the JDS candidates will lose," he claimed.

On Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly levelling corruption charge against him, Shivakumar said it was a political allegation against him.

"There is nothing against me, they can’t prove anything. These are baseless allegations against me," Shivakumar added.

Shivakumar denied any dissent in the party over ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha polls stating that the entire Congress party is united.

"There is no dissent and within 24 hours we will sort it out. But in BJP, the party is burning from within. The BJP workers are going to kill the BJP itself. The BJP has changed (candidates) in around 10 seats and they know that they are losing in the campaigns," he said.

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: A striking feature in the candidates list for the April 26 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is the presence of members of Janata Dal (Secular)'s first family.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy, son-in-law C N Manjunath and grandson Prajwal Revanna are all in the fray.

While state JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumararaswamy is contesting from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

However, Manjunath, an eminent cardiologist, is contesting from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, as per the arrangement between the alliance partners.

With the entry of cardiologist Manjunath into the poll arena, at least nine members of Gowda's immediate family are or have been in electoral politics.

Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, while Kumaraswamy is an MLA from Channapatna, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha had represented Ramanagara as MLA in the previous assembly, and Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing leader, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya and 2023 assembly polls from Ramanagara.

Gowda's elder son and former Minister H D Revanna -- father of Prajwal -- is MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat. Their other son, Suraj, is an MLC.

The Gowda family currently has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

This will be for the second consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections, when three members from Gowda's family are in the fray from constituencies of the old-Mysore region (south Karnataka), which is considered to be the party's stronghold, because of the dominance of the Vokkaliga community here, to which they belong to.

Gowda (Tumkur), Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), and Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil (Mandya) had contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2019, but only Revanna emerged victorious. In fact, he was among the only two candidates from the then ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, who won; the other being D K Suresh of Congress from Bangalore Rural.

As part of the seat-sharing deal in this Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the BJP would contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three -- Mandya, Hassan and Kolar. JD(S) has fielded M Mallesh Babu from Kolar.

In the 2023 assembly polls, three members of the Gowda family had contested - Kumaraswamy (Channapatna), H D Revanna (Holenarasipur), and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). In the 2018 assembly polls, both Kumaraswamy and Revanna had won.

Kumaraswamy, who had then won from two seats - Ramanagara and Channapatna - vacated Ramanagara, which his wife Anita Kumaraswamy subsequently won in the bypolls.

According to some political observers, the perception in some quarters about JD(S) being too family-centric is one of its major drawbacks.

James Manor, University of London professor, who has been a keen observer of Karnataka's politics, during a webinar ahead of assembly polls last year had said, family-centred politics is causing discontent and leading to desertion. 'JD(S) suffers from over-centralisation and dictatorial leadership.'

However, Kumaraswamy has time and again defended family members contesting polls stating that , '....our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our party and its workers.'

However, the JD(S)'s dynastic party image has always been used by its political opponents to target it.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, had a dig at Gowda for fielding his son, grandson, and son-in-law, and asked 'Were there no other candidates (in JD(S))?'

'None of them is going to win...JD(S) is a party that has lost strength. If it is really strong, why did they make their son-in-law contest on a BJP ticket?' he said.

Some political analysts held the view that JD(S)' inability to grow beyond the Vokkaliga dominated old-Mysore region -- other than certain select pockets of north Karnataka -- is seen as among its other key drawbacks.

Speculations are already rife in JD(S) circles that Nikhil is most likely to be the party candidate from Channaptna assembly segment, in case Kumaraswamy wins in Mandya.

Ahead of assembly polls last year, differences in the Gowda family had come out in the open with H D Revanna's wife Bhavani wanting to contest from Hassan, but Kumaraswamy had opposed it and finally gave the ticket. 

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