The Election Commission (EC) has shunted out Hassan Deputy Commissioner Akram Pasha following a complaint from Hassan legislator Preetham Gowda (BJP) who accused him of working in a partisan manner, an official said on Sunday.
"On the EC's directive, the state government has replaced Mr Pasha with IAS officer Priyank Mary Francis as Hassan's new Deputy Commissioner to ensure a free and fair vote on April 18," poll official Surya Sen told IANS in Bengaluru.
"Preetham Gowda had complained to us that Pasha was trying to obstruct the BJP nominee from campaigning and was influencing his Vokkaliga community to vote for JD-S candidate Prajwal Revanna," said Mr Sen.
A BJP spokesman told IANS Mr Pasha was favouring ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate Prajwal Revanna in the high-profile constituency.
Prajwal Revanna is the grandson of JD-S supremo HD Deve Gowda and son of Mr Gowda's second son and state Public Works Department Minister HD Revanna, elder brother of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
Mr Gowda, a six-time MP from Hassan since 1991, opted to contest from Tumkur, to enable Prajwal Revanna enter the fray from the JD-S bastion against BJP candidate A Manju.
Deve Gowda's other grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy is JD-S candidate from Mandya against actress Sumalatha Ambareesh who is contesting as Independent, supported by the BJP.
Nikhil Kumaraswamy is the son of HD Kumaraswamy and an upcoming actor in the Kannada film industry, which is supporting Sumalatha, whose husband MH Ambareesh was also an actor.
A Mandya native, Ambareesh died at 61 on November 24 in Bengaluru.