RAICHUR: A ‘coconut’ was caught in a tug-of-war between an independent candidate and Bharatiya Janata Party on April 27.The independent, Karemma G Nayak, had chosen the fruit as her symbol this state polls and the returning officer of Devadurga okayed it too. But, this was later withdrawn after BJP allegedly raised objections.
Karemma said, “BJP objected saying that the symbol belongs to the Karnataka Janata Paksha, which they claimed still exists”. She was upset that all the efforts made by her supporters to popularise the symbol were wasted.She said that she had followed due procedure. She was given a booklet to choose free symbols from, she picked the coconut and informed the returning officer Mohammad Irfan. Thus, the symbol was allotted to her.
Soon, a procession was taken out by her supporters to popularise the symbol in Devadurga. “I am an independent candidate. Unlike other political parties, I have to take an added effort to familiarise voters with my symbol,” she said.
Her supporters actively promoted it through social-media platforms such as Facebook and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. This is when, she said, BJP filed an objection and the returning officer phoned Karemma to say that the symbol cannot be given to her.Two independent candidates in Devadurga had chosen the coconut symbol, and the officer had picked a lot and allotted it to Karemma. Karemma has now chosen a tractor symbol and is yet to be allotted this by the officer.
The returning officer, speaking to Express, said that the first symbol was selected from a 2017 book in
which coconut was listed as free symbol. However, in a 2018 edition, the symbol had been taken out.
When asked if the symbol was taken out of the list because it was still with the KJP, he said that he is unaware of that. He said that the tractor symbol will be allotted to Karemma.Meanwhile, the independent candidate is confident of trouncing all three parties in the May 12 elections.