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BJP opposes extension of President's Rule in Karnataka
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 18, 2008 20:17 IST
A delegation of the Bhartiya Janata Party, led former minister Yashwant Sinha, met the Election Commission and demanded that it should not allow the Government of India to extend President's Rule in Karnataka beyond May 29, when the tenure of President's Rule ends.
Other members of the delegation included former law minister Arun Jaitley, BJP state unit president Sadanand Gauda, Jagdish Shettigar, Arvind Limbavalti, Suresh Kumar and R Ramakrishna.
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy, Navain Chawla and S Y Qureshi and senior officers of the commission attended the meeting and heard the arguments from the BJP leaders.
"The party is keen to have elections conducted on the basis of the recommendations of Delimitation Commission, already gazetted, for Karnataka. The BJP has always been urging the early implementation of the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission," Sinha said after the meeting.
The party expressed its apprehension that the commission may not be able to conduct the polls before the end of May, once the Presidential notification of the date is issued for making the delimitation orders operational.
"We feel that it is not necessary, statutorily or otherwise, for the Commission to wait for the notification for initiating the preparatory work for giving effect to the recommendation of the Delimitation Commission. In Karnataka, by and large all assembly constituencies are sited within the same district. It is therefore possible to empower the deputy commissioners to restructure the polling booths and allocate the electoral rolls for the ACs falling within his jurisdiction. All the ground work can thus be compressed within a short time frame and the framework kept ready for completing the polls before end of May," the BJP leaders argued.
Arun Jaitley said that while the delimitation process can go on, the elections can still be held with old constituencies as provided in the proviso when the law was amended by former prime minister Indira Gandhi [Images].
"The BJP is totally opposed to the extension of President's Rule in Karnataka, based on specious procedural grounds of the commission not being in a position to complete the procedural work. We earnestly hope the commission will rise to the occasion and find administrative solutions for resolving this problem," Sinha said.