Karnataka poll: Congress protestor dies, BJP list Friday

Bangalore, April 4 (IANS) Demonstrations by opponents and supporters of probable Congress candidates for the Karnataka assembly poll turned tragic here Thursday when a 48-year-old demonstrator died of suspected heart attack.

Identified by police as Velu of Mahadevapura in east Bangalore, he reportedly fell down in the melee caused following a baton charge by police to disperse hundreds of demonstrators at the Congress office in the city centre.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him dead, a police spokesperson told reporters.

“We suspect he died of heart attack,” the spokesperson said adding the post-mortem would reveal the exact cause of death.

Though the Congress is yet to announce the names, its office in the busy Queens Road, less than km away from the state secretariat, has been scene of daily demonstration by hundreds of people since Monday.

The demonstrators, going media reports of names of probable candidates, have been either protesting giving party ticket to some or demanding it for their leaders.

The Congress list is expected to be released only next week, ahead of opening of nominations April 10 for the 224 elected seats of the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member.

The nominations close April 17 and voting is on May 5. Vote count is on May 8.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s first list of candidates would be announced Friday after approval by the party’s parliamentary board. The board is meeting Friday in New Delhi, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters in Bagalkot, about 500km north of Bangalore.

The third major party, the Janata Dal-Secular, has said it would release its list April 9.

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