Mandya: In a sudden development, State Election Commissioner (SEC) Sanjiv Kumar visited the office of Mandya Deputy Commissioner this morning following a complaint by actress Sumalatha Ambarish who is contesting as an Independent candidate from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency.
Sumalatha had complained and had publicly alleged that Election Officers were favouring Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who is contesting against her as a JD(S)-Congress coalition candidate. She accused the District Election Commission of trying to help her opponent illegally.
Sanjiv Kumar held a meeting with Manjushree who is also the Returning Officer. Sources said that the SEC will look into the allegations of Nikhil being awarded Serial Number 1. In her allegations, Sumalatha has said that as per rules and alphabetical order, BSP candidate Nanjundaswamy must come in the first serial number. Also, BSP is the largest political party after BJP and Congress and JD(S) must come last, she said. Sumalatha has been allotted serial number 20 which comes in the second EVM.
Also, Sumalatha’s election agent Madan Kumar has alleged that there were errors in the nomination papers of Nikhil and the official machinery has been working to help her political rival. Madan has alleged that he had demanded the full video recording of Nikhil filing his papers and scrutiny of papers by election officers.
Madan has alleged that the election officers delayed the handing over the video by three days and gave him edited versions that had cuts at many places. He alleged that the video was deliberately cut to hide visuals showing discrepancies in the nomination papers and to help Nikhil.
Later speaking to reporters, Sanjiv Kumar said that he will look into the allegations levelled by Sumalatha and Madan. “As of now, the nominations stand. If anyone is aggrieved, they can always approach the court of law. I will probe the allegations of our officers helping any candidate and if there is any tempering in the video,” he said.
NOTICE: Meanwhile, Sumalatha has been issued a show-cause notice for accusing the District Election Commission of trying to help her opponent illegally. According to the notice, the actor had issued statements to electronic media on Friday saying: “There were errors in the nomination papers (of her opponent Nikhil) and the official machinery has been working on it (to help Nikhil). The Chief Minister had spoken to the Deputy Commissioner (Manjushree) after summoning to his residence.”
Manjushree, the District Election Officer, has issued a notice and said that the actor has insulted the official machinery through her statements. The officer asked the actor to reply to the notice within a day and said legal action would be initiated against Sumalatha if she failed to provide the explanations.