Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and former Minister G.T. Deve Gowda have taken objection to the spread of fake news that they in support of BJP candidate A.H. Vishwanath in Hunsur Assembly constituency. The news has been spread through pamphlets and shared on social media.
While Mr. Gowda lodged a complaint with the poll officials, Mr. Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to clarify that the contents of the pamphlets were fake. The Congress lodged a formal complaint with the election officials in Mysuru on Wednesday.
One of the pamphlets claimed that Mr. Siddaramaiah had cancelled his visits to villages dominated by Kurubas in Hunsur on Tuesday after successful negotiations with Sri Niranjananandapuri Swami of Kanaka Peetha and had indirectly extended support to BJP candidate Mr. Vishwanath.
An angry Mr. Siddaramaiah tweeted that the contents of the pamphlets were fake and accused Mr. Vishwanath of resorting to such desperate measures out of fear of losing the elections and even misusing the seers name for narrow political pettiness.
On Wednesday, Congress leaders in Mysuru led by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) spokesperson M. Lakshmana lodged a formal complaint seeking action against the culprits.
In the complaint, the Congress clarified that Mr. Siddaramaiah skip visits to three villages in Hunsur as he could not cover them within the scheduled time of 2.30 pm before proceeding to campaign in K.R. Pet. Similarly, he missed three villages in K.R. Pet as it was past the 6 p.m. deadline for public campaigning.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gowda, who also saw red over the spread of false news, said he had lodged a complaint with the poll officials. I have not sought votes on behalf of any candidate. Yet, messages that falsely claim that I have asked the Vokkaliga community to vote for BJP candidate are being shared media, he said.
Mr. Gowda had vowed to remain neutral in the bypolls, despite efforts made by different parties and candidates to woo him. A former MLA representing Hunsur, Mr. Gowda is believed to have his own support base in Hunsur.
The pamphlet, which was shared on various social media platforms, showed portraits of Mr. Gowda and Mr. Vishwanath with an accompanying appeal attributed to Mr. Gowda asking the Vokkaliga community to cast their votes in favour of the BJP candidate.