Bengaluru, Nov 1 : Security has been tightened and vigil stepped up in the RR Nagar (Rajarajeshwarinagar) assembly segment in the city’s northwest for the high-profile November 3 by-election, an official said on Sunday.
“As per the directions of the Election Commission and the city’s civic body, 19 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and 20 platoons of the City Armed Reserve (CAR) have been deployed to maintain law and order and ensure free and fair by-election on Tuesday,” a poll official told IANS here.
To prevent any untoward incident and enable smooth polling, 2,563 police personnel, including 8 ACPs, 30 PIs, 94 PSIs, 85 ASIs, 1,547 HCs/PCs and 699 Home Guards have been deployed in areas under the assembly segment.
“Of the 678 polling stations in 141 locations across the constituency, 82 have been identified as critical and 596 normal,” said the official.
The city police have set up 40 flying squads and 9 check-posts to monitor the movement of candidates, their agents and supporters and prevent violation of the model code of conduct.
“Ban order has been enforced from Sunday to Tuesday midnight to prevent assembling of more than 5 persons under section 144 of the CrPC and ensure peaceful polling,” said the official.
Sale and consumption of liquor has also been banned in the constituency area from Sunday to Tuesday midnight.
In all, 16 candidates, including one each from the ruling BJP and opposition Congress and JD-S and independents are in the fray.
Vote count is on November 3.
The by-election has been necessitated by the resignation of N. Muniratna as a Congress legislator in July 2019. He defected to the BJP after he was disqualified by former assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar for defying the party’s whip and expelled.
The Supreme Court, however, allowed Muniratna to re-contest in the by-election, which was delayed, as the result in the May 2018 assembly elections was challenged in the high court by the runner up.
In a related development, the city civic body (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) booked a case against Kannada film superstar Darshan for allegedly flouting the Covid-19-induced election campaign protocols by not wearing the face mask all the time during electioneering in the constituency till Saturday.
“A case of violating the poll campaign protocol has been filed against Darshan under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 after videos and photos by our officials captured showed him campaigning without mask in between and for failing to maintain physical distance from others,” BBMP commissioner N. Manjunatha Prasad said in a statement here.
Darshan, 43, campaigned for Muniratna along with other sandalwood actors like Tara, who is also the BJP’s legislative Council member.
Cases were also booked against other campaigners for not wearing face mask and maintaining social distancing.
Another by-election is being held at Sira in Tumakuru district, about 124km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.