Karnataka polls on May 10, results on May 13: EC
Deccan Chronicle.| Vineeta Pandey
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said the notification for the elections to the 224-member assembly will be issued on April 13 (ANI)
New Delhi: Karnataka will vote on May 10 in a single phase to elect its new state government and counting will take place on May 13, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.
Bypolls to one Lok Sabha seat and four Assembly seats in four states will also take place on May 10 along with the Karnataka Assembly polls. However, the EC said it is in "no hurry" to announce bypolls to the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, adding that it will wait till Mr Gandhi exhausts all the legal remedies available to him.
Addressing a press conference to announce the Karnataka Assembly election dates, chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar said there was no hurry to declare the bypolls to the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat as the Surat trial court had given Rahul Gandhi one month to file an appeal.
"There is no hurry, we will wait. There is no hurry to do it before exhausting that particular remedy which the trial court had accorded. We will take a call after that," Mr Kumar said.
Mr Kumar added the vacancy in the Wayanad parliamentary constituency was notified on March 23 and as per the law, a bypoll has to be held within six months. He further said the law also states that if the remainder of the term was less than one year, then the election will not be held. The CEC said in the case of Wayanad, the remainder of the term was more than a year. He said the poll panel has taken decisions for bypolls for vacancies that have occurred till February.
In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the BJP has 119 seats, the Congress has 75 and JD(S) 28 MLAs, Two seats are vacant. The incumbent BJP faces a tough challenge in Karnataka from the Congress that sees a revolving door phenomenon. Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday announced that he would start campaigning from Kolar in Karnataka, the same place where he had made the alleged controversial statement that led to his disqualification.
Giving details of the Karnataka Assembly polls, the CEC said the notification for the elections will be issued on April 13 and the last date for filing nomination papers will be April 20. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 21 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations was April 24. He added the elections have been scheduled on a Wednesday to encourage greater participation of voters as if it was kept on a Monday or Friday, people tend to take a day off and have a long weekend.
The Model Code of Conduct is in place with the announcement of the election. The CEC said strict vigil was being ensured as freebies, liquor and drugs worth more than Rs 80 crores has been seized so far. On Wednesday, the EC’s flying squad members seized Rs 35.5 lakhs in cash from a car at a checkpost in Sedam and arrested three people.
Assembly bypolls will take place for Jharsuguda seat in Odisha, necessitated by the death of Naba Kisore Daswho, was shot dead by a police officer in January this year. The Suar Assembly byelection in Uttar Pradesh was necessitated after the disqualification upon conviction of Samajwadi Party MLA Abdullah Azam Khan. He was convicted in a 2008 case relating to a :dharna" on a highway and sentenced to two years in jail. He is the son of SP veteran Azam Khan, who too stands disqualified in another case.
In UP’s Chhanbey Assembly seat, the bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting Apna Dal MLA Rahul Prakash Kol due to cancer. In Sohiong Assembly seat of Meghalaya, the poll had been adjourned due to the death of a candidate of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
Meanwhile, in response to a question on the possibility of a review of EVMs, the CEC said there was no question of that.