Special Correspondent

President’s Rule in Karnataka may be extended beyond May 28

NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday signed the much awaited notification for implementing the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission, redefining parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in different parts of the country.

The notification, coming into effect immediately, will apply to all States and Union Territories except Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Jharkhand.

The government earlier deferred the delimitation exercise in the four north-eastern States and Jharkhand, by approving amendments to the Delimitation Act 2002 through an ordinance. In Meghalaya and Tripura also, the notification will come into effect only from March 20 as the election process is now under way there.

Lok Sabha polls

Following the notification, the Lok Sabha polls due in 2009 and the Assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh later this year will be held as per the revised constituencies.

As for Karnataka, where President’s Rule is to come to an end on May 28, official sources say it may be extended for a further six months and the Assembly elections held in August or September.

This, they say, is because since the notification has been issued with immediate effect, the Assembly polls will have to be conducted under the new delimited constituencies and with a revised electoral roll.

The Election Commission has already stated the entire exercise of delimitation and revision of rolls could take three or four months.

JD(S) stand

Janata Dal (Secular) general secretary Kunwar Danish Ali said the signing of the notification by the President was a welcome development though it could have been done earlier. There was no need to extend the term of President’s Rule in Karnataka. The Election Commission should ensure that the Assembly elections were held well before May 28 under the new delimited constituencies, he said.

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