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`Election panel under pressure'

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B.S. Yediyurappa
B.S. Yediyurappa

Staff Correspondent

Yediyurappa objects to deployment of paramilitary forces, other measures

MYSORE: Taking exception to a series of steps taken by the Election Commission to ensure a free and fair election in Chamundeshwari constituency, Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has expressed apprehension that the commission is yielding to pressure from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.

In an indirect reference to the decision of Election Commission to remove Inspector-General of Police (Southern Range) R.P. Sharma from election-related duties, shift three senior police officers and deploy paramilitary forces, he told presspersons here on Tuesday that the commission appeared to be under constant pressure from the Congress.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the commission took these steps based on the complaints filed by various political parties, especially the Congress and urged Congress leaders "to stop coercing the Election Commission with immediate effect."

Objecting to the police seizing the official car of Transport Minister N. Cheluvarayaswamy on Monday, he sought to know why they did not act against Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways K.H. Muniyappa, who was using an official car for campaigning.

Accusing the Congress of unnecessarily filing complaints with the Election Commission, he said that complaining against the Karnataka Development Front government had become a daily routine for the party. Criticising the decision of Election Commission for deploying paramilitary forces, he said it was an insult to the voters of Chamundeshwari constituency.

Kharge challenged

Accusing Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge of misguiding the people by alleging that the State Government had diverted funds released by Centre for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to distribute bicycles to girl students, he said he was prepared to resign if there was any truth in the allegation. He asked whether Mr. Kharge was prepared to retire from politics if he failed to substantiate his allegation.

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