Mysore highway manís new route: says vote national, not regional
- Rs 20L seized from Ajit Chandila relative's home, another ex-cricketer held
- India and China ask SRs to work on more border steps
- Can't charge man with rape over consensual sex even if marriage eludes: Supreme Court
- Saudi Arabian authorities refuse to accept new Indian passports
- FIR filed against Facebook for not discontinuing hate page
Political parties in Karnataka are still waiting to kickstart their campaigns for the Assembly elections next month but one person, though he is not in the electoral fray, has been campaigning with such gusto that even the Election Commission has begun taking note.
Ashok Kheny, best known as the managing director of the company implementing the country's first private infrastructure project, the Rs 2,250 crore-Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC), has been crisscrossing Karnataka, asking voters to exercise their right to vote but to choose national parties over regional parties.
Even before major parties could dole out sops to voters, Ashok Kheny, whose cousin Sanjay Kheny is contesting the polls on a BJP ticket from the Bidar South constituency, has promised cows for widows in all villages in the state, sewing machines for women and hostels for poor rural youth under the aegis of an Ashok Kheny Fans Association.
Kheny's campaign has however been viewed in some circles as an attempt to fight former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda ó seen as the biggest obstacle to the litigation-mired BMIC project ó and to prevent his Janata Dal Secular from being in a position of power again.
With complaints going to the Election Commission regarding Kheny's campaign and promises, Chief Electoral Officer M N Vidyashankar has called for reports from districts where the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) chief has travelled in recent days.
"If any violations have occurred, we will take action," said the electoral officer, acknowledging that proxy campaigns against individuals are liable for scrutiny.
Kheny has told the Election Commission he is only exercising his right to freedom of speech and expression by urging voters to turn out in large numbers to ensure a stable government in Karnataka.
"What I am telling people at public meetings around the state is that only national parties will have the national interest at heart. Regional parties have only local and family interests. This, in the long run, hurts the national interest," Kheny said.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- Manmohan-Li talks: PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in 'friendly fire'