CEC hints at May polls for Karnataka
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy hinted on Tuesday that Karnataka assembly polls would be held this May, the month in which both the BJP and its estranged coalition partner Janata Dal (S) want the elections to be held.
Gopalaswamy said a formal announcement would be made in early April. "A decision to hold the election in Karnataka as per schedule (before May 28, six months after the assembly was dissolved) or later will be taken by April 15. Our decision will be based on the preparedness, including completion of electoral work, especially in the redrawn constituencies as per the delimitation notification," he said.
Karnataka has been under President's rule from November 28 after the coalition arrangement between the BJP and JD(S) came apart. Elections to the assembly would be held with a new political map, which will see 85 new assembly seats for the 224-member House.
On Tuesday, the three-member Election Commission — N Gopalaswamy, SY Qureshi and Navin Chawla — reviewed the work being undertaken across the state in the run-up to the polls at a daylong meeting with DCs of all districts and other officials engaged in poll-related work.
The EC members also met representatives of seven leading political parties — BJP, BSP, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), JD(S) and JD(U).
The BJP and JD(S) favoured polls before May 28, while the Congress, BSP and CPI(M) wanted them after the due date. The JD(U) was non-committal while the CPI said elections should not be held in the middle of summer.