BJP in Karnataka today petitioned the Election Commission against the conduct of four officials involved in election duty at Gundlupet, one of the two assembly constituencies that will go for bypolls on April 9. Demanding that the elections be held in a fair atmosphere, the party has asked the Commission to immediately take steps to transfer the officials. Stating that the conduct and behaviour of the officials was not just, fair and impartial, the BJP, in a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer, alleged that the officers are working as "agents" of the ruling Congress. "The style of working of these officers distinctly suggests that they are in favour of the ruling party," the letter, signed by BJP State Secretary N Shankrappa and spokesperson Ashwathnarayan, and released to the media, said. The party has named the officials as Rameshwarappa, Deputy Director-Department of Food and Civil Supplies; Basappa, Deputy Director of Public Instructions; Shivamadaiah- Assistant Executive Engineer at Zilla Panchayat; and Revanna- Executive officer Taluk Panchayat. Elections will be held for Gundlupet and Nanjangud constituencies respectively following the death of Cooperative Minister Mahadeva Prasad and resignation of V Srinivas Prasad as Congress MLA after he was dropped from the ministry. While Srinivas Prasad is now the BJP candidate from Nanjangud, Congress has fielded Kalale Keshavamurthy, who had contested the 2013 Assembly polls on a JD(S) ticket. In Gundlupet, Congress has fielded Mahadeva Prasad's wife Geeta Mahadeva Prasad and BJP, C S Niranjan Kumar as its candidate. Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda's JD(S) has decided not to field its candidates for the by-polls and to remain neutral. Karnataka will go for assembly polls in early 2018 as the tenure of the present assembly comes to end by then.
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