Election Commission may announce dates soon

The Election Commission has started gearing up with full vigour for holding elections for the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly sometime in April end or early May, and the announcement in this regard is expected in the next few days.

The term of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly expires on June 3.

Informed sources said holding the poll in more than one phase could not be ruled out and a decision on this will be taken depending upon the availability of the central security forces and other logistics.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath and Election Commissioners H.S. Brahma and S.N.A. Zaidi recently visited Bangalore and interacted with the representatives of the political parties and the State government officials, including those from the police, on poll preparedness.

Pre-poll arrangements

The commission was satisfied with the pre-poll arrangements made by the State election department and the latter had been instructed to achieve cent per cent in the distribution of Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) which had now reached 98.5 per cent, sources added.

The election dates would be fixed considering festivals, examinations, weather and other issues that are related to ensuring smooth conduct of polls and turn up of more voters to the polling stations.

The commission might be requesting for security forces even from the neighbouring States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra to ensure that everything goes well during the campaign and the actual polling period.

Karnataka is presently ruled by the BJP government, headed by Jagadish Shettar. The internal squabbles in the party was such that the BJP high command had to appoint three Chief Ministers — B.S. Yeddyurappa, D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Shettar — in this five years of its rule, the first in the Southern India.

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