‘It is affecting administration and development of the State’

Leaders of the Opposition in both Houses of the State legislature on Monday urged the Election Commission to lift the model code of conduct in the State in public interest as they expressed the apprehension that continuing with it for nearly 30 days after the Lok Sabha election will affect the administration.

Addressing a press conference here, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar and his deputy R. Ashok and leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council D.V. Sadananda Gowda urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take up the matter with the Election Commission. They also sought the Centre’s intervention in the issue.

Mr. Shettar said he would write to the Election Commission. “Lifting the model code of conduct in Karnataka, where the elections have already been held, will no way impact the polling in the rest of the country,” he said.

Mr. Shettar maintained that continuing it for nearly a month after polls would inconvenience people as the administration process would come to a halt. Accusing the Congress government in the State of being “inactive”, he said the prolonging of model code of conduct would add to this.

Mr. Shettar alleged that the model code of conduct had come in the way of payment of compensation to farmers who had lost crops worth hundreds of crores due to the hailstorm in north Karnataka.

Similarly, the government had abruptly suspended the process of procurement of toor dal from farmers in northern districts under the market intervention scheme. Even those who had sold their produce under this scheme were yet to get compensation, he alleged while pointing out that the produce of nearly 20,000 farmers was yet to be procured.

Mr. Shettar alleged that continuation of model code of conduct would lead to a darbar (erstwhile royal court) by the bureaucrats against the democratic norms of elected representatives being given importance.

He termed the 10 per cent increase in polling in the State for the Lok Sabha elections as an indication of a change at the Centre now and a pointer to the change in the State in the future. Mr. Shettar claimed that the ground reports collated by the Bharatiya Janata Party after the polling had indicated that it may win about 20 Lok Sabha seats in the State.

Mr. Sadananda Gowda alleged that Ministers were yet to visit their Vidhana Soudha offices though three days had passed off ever since the polling was held. He termed this an insult to the people of the State.

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