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EC in Karnataka to decide Assembly poll dates
Vicky Nanjapa in Bengaluru | March 03, 2008 14:31 IST
A team of the Election Commission will visit Karnataka on Monday to decide on when the polls will be held in the state. The team will hold several rounds of meetings, following which, they will study the reports handed over to them by the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts.
The reports will deal with the progress of voters' lists and also the implementation of the new delimitation report.
Meetings will also be held with the State Election Commission regarding the date of the polls, following which, a final decision will be taken.
The visit also hopes to put an end to the speculation regarding a rift within the Election Commission over poll dates. While the Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami wants polls in May, Commissioner Naveen Chawla prefers that they be postponed.
The decision would depend on the report given by the District Commissioner and the Electoral officers regarding when the delimitation commission report can be implemented.
The report suggests that the number of seats for reserved candidates be increased. Also, the voters' list has to be worked out as per the delimitation of the constituencies.
However, if the reports submitted by the DCs suggests that the whole process of reworking the voters' list can be done as per the new report in a short time, polls could be held in May.
The delimitation process is a complex and sensitive one and will be in force for the next 30 years. The Congress argues that there can be no mess up while undertaking such an exercise. They also argue that there are 60 lakh bogus voters in the state and unless this is cleaned up, the election cannot be held.
Senior Congress leader Prthiviraj Chauvan is in Bengaluru to take stock of the situation. A visit by Rahul Gandhi [Images] is also on the cards. He is expected to tour the state for five days during the end of March, indicating that the Congress is getting ready for polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has long maintained that polls be held in May. The Janata Dal-Secular is also in favour of early polls.