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Top leaders to meet poll panel today

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N. Gopalaswami
N. Gopalaswami

S. Rajendran

Congress leaders discuss party’s stand before the meeting

JD(S) urges Election Commission to go by the Constitution and rules governing the elections

BJP brushes aside Congress’s concerns and says mistakes in voters’ list can be rectified later

BANGALORE: Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and the two election commissioners S.Y. Quraishi and Navin Chawla will meet representatives of political parties here on Tuesday to hear their views on the election calendar for the Legislative Assembly elections.

If the State election machinery is ready to hold the elections at the earliest, political parties are divided on the matter.

The differences among the three major parties —the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) over the timing of the Legislative Assembly elections is evident.

While the Congress leadership is not in favour of elections now, the BJP is ready for the polls. The JD(S) has demanded that the Election Commission stick to the Constitution and the rules governing elections.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president M. Mallikarjun Kharge told The Hindu that the Congress was not convinced by the “cut and paste” policy being followed in the revision of electoral rolls.

“Revision of electoral rolls following the fresh delimitation of constituencies is a long-drawn exercise. We want a door-to-door enumeration and not a random deletion of some voters and the inclusion of some others,” he said.

Meanwhile, AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka and Union Minister Prithiviraj Chavan arrived in Bangalore for a late night sitting with the State Congress leaders and to chalk out the party’s stance during the meeting with the full Election Commission.

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told a press conference in Bangalore that the Election Commission should hold the Assembly elections in the State before the May 28 deadline and said lapses in the voters’ list could be corrected even on the last day for withdrawal of nominations. A group of BJP leaders led by State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda would meet the election commissioners and submit a memorandum requesting them to hold the elections within the stipulated date for fulfilling Constitutional obligations.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said

the officials concerned had deleted over 50 lakh “bogus voters” from the existing list and included an estimated 20 lakh “genuine voters”. The preparation of new voters’ list had been completed in 15 districts and the lists of the remaining districts would be completed in a week, he said.

The argument of the former Chief Minister is that preparation of the voters’ list could not be delayed in any of the 224 constituencies as there are no changes in 35 constituencies revised under the delimitations process. The hoblis in 89 other constituencies have been transferred from one constituency to another without effecting any division and the same is the case in 42 rural constituencies and 58 urban constituencies wherein whole villages and wards have been transferred respectively. Owing to these steps, voters’ list could be completed before March 20.

JD (S) State unit president N. Merajuddin Patel would call on the Election Commission seeking elections before the May 28 deadline and present similar arguments as those of the BJP.

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