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Poll panel asks states to ready electoral rolls
October 09, 2007 12:04 IST
The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered Chief Election Officers in all states to publish electoral rolls of 2008 by mid-January at the latest, strengthening expectations of a mid-term election.
The Commission held a meeting of CEOs of southern and western states and will meet top bosses from the north and east on Tuesday.
In another development, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] had an unscheduled 30-minute meeting with President Pratibha Patil [Images]. Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] spokespersons said the two discussed non-political issues.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat had a 45-minute one-on-one meeting with the government's principal interlocutor with the Left, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in an apparent bid to retrieve the situation from the brink of a mid-term election.
Government sources said Karat, who heads the biggest Left party in Parliament, could not be convinced to reconsider his anti-nuclear-deal stance.
The meetings created a buzz, coming a day after Gandhi's speech in Haryana that described opponents of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement as "enemies of development".
Red-faced managers from the Congress scurried to explain that it was not secular colleagues like the Left parties, on which the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) depends for support in Parliament, that were being criticised, but the Bharatiya Janata Party, the major opposition party.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu told reporters in Kolkata that Pranab Mukherjee approached him on Sunday to request the Left not to withdraw support and that this request had been forwarded to party leaders.
Basu added: "Sonia had made a good speech in New York. I don't know why she has changed her tone now. If she wants elections, we are ready."