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Karnataka: Parties squabble as EC tries to fix poll date
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | March 05, 2008 14:45 IST
A team of the Election Commission arrived in Karnataka on Tuesday to discuss the possible dates for the impending elections in the state.
During their visit, the Chief Election Commissioner and his team met political parties to find out their view about holding early polls in the state. The CEC said that some parties were in favour of holding elections in May, while the others wanted it postponed by at least six months, till the new delimitation report is implemented.
Congress state unit chief Mallikarjuna Kharge said that it would not be possible to hold elections in May, as Karnataka will complete six months under President's rule in May and it would require at least two more months to complete the election process.
The Congress feels that if elections are scheduled for May, officials will rush through the implementation of the delimitation report, which may lead to inaccurate rolls. It would not be possible to hold free and fair elections under such circumstances, said the party.
The Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal � Secular has often claimed that it will pull off a surprise win in the forthcoming polls. JD-S members told the Election Commission that it is better if the polls are held early, as the state cannot run forever on President's rule. A popular government is the need of the hour, the JD-S told the EC.
The BJP, which wants to cash in on the sympathy factor, has been pushing for an early poll since the very beginning. The BJP cites examples from across the state, where the report was implemented and the constituencies redrawn within 24 hours.
The party also quoted various judgments of the Supreme Court of India, stating that elections cannot be postponed unless it is an act of God and not man made.
However, the Communist Party of India feels that the polls should be postponed for a few more months as it would be difficult to campaign at the peak of summer. They also fear that many voters may not turn up due to the intense heat.
The Bahujan Samaj Party, a relative newcomer to state politics, said that in view of the constituencies being redrawn in accordance with the delimitation commission report, it would require some more to understand the new pattern. Hence, it would be best if the elections are postponed till October, feels the BSP.