HDK hits out: Rajya Sabha poll officials Congress agents

Bengaluru: The Janata Dal(S), which failed to stop its rebels from voting in  Friday's Rajya Sabha elections from the state, managed to have the counting of votes stalled in objection to the returning officer issuing a second set of ballot papers each to   a couple of Congress leaders, who voted in the poll. However, counting resumed in the evening and the Congress and BJP candidates won.

The angry JD(S) members boycotted the election and sought a fresh poll. Although the party had officially boycotted the election even before the incident, its leaders, H D Revanna and  Sa Ra Mahesh had cast their vote.

The ruckus began soon after  Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and former Minister , Baburao Chinchansur arrived at around 10.30 am and showed the ballot papers they had marked to their party agent , who realised they had not voted for the Congress. The two  were then issued a second set of ballot papers by Assembly Secretary, Murthy to vote again. 

But JD(S) agent, Ramesh Babu strongly objected to this and got into an angry exchange with Mr Murthy, who claimed he had not issued a second ballot paper to the Congress leaders.  But Mr  Babu had captured it on his mobile phone and was backed by JD(S) state president, H D Kumaraswamy and 29 of his party MLAs. 

Voting was stalled for an hour as Congress leaders argued there was no rule against the returning officer issuing ballot papers twice, but Election Commissioner,  Sanjiv Kumar agreed  he was out of line.

When the voting resumed, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who arrived to cast his vote, was visibly angry when informed about the incident by Mr Murthy. But the JD(S) had some joy coming their way with Sanjiv Kumar received a communication from the CEC asking him to change the returning officer. Mr Murthy found himself then replaced by his deputy, Kumaraswamy.

127 cases off! Govt doles  it out big to state farmers

IN an effort to woo the farming community ahead ot the Assembly polls, the state Cabinet has withdrawn 60 cases registered against farmers involved in Cauvery and Mahadayi agitations. 

Law and Parliamentary Minister T.B. Jayachandra told mediapersons after cabinet meeting, that the government has decided to withdraw 127 cases registered against  farmers across the state. The decision has taken based on the recommendations of the Cabinet sub committee. 

Of 127 cases, 60 cases pertained to farmers involved in the agitations of Cauvery and  Mahadayi farmers and aso those connected wiht the stir at Kudigi thermal power plant in Vijayapura. Around 30 cases pertained to group clashes. However the government has not withdrawn cases against PFI activists, Mr Jayachandra clarified. 

It was also decided to distribute one pair of shoes and two pairs of socks among students of class 1 to 10 from the academic year of 2018-19. Nearly 44.57 lakh students will benefit from this new scheme. The government will spend Rs. 130 crore for this purpose. 

The Cabinet approved the purchase of 312 Mahindra Bolero jeeps for the police department for which Rs 20.5 crore will be spent. It gave the nod for  leasing out the civil terminal at Bidar airport for flight operations to GMR  group for 15 years. The company will give a certain amount to the government for using air strips. Sixteen acres of land was allotted to Karnataka State Cricket Association to build a greenfield cricket stadium at Holali village near Kolar. 

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