Bangalore: The Election Commission of India is bracing to conduct elections to the Karnataka legislative assembly by May as the five-year term of the present House (13th)
ends on June 3.
“We will soon announce the date(s) for holding election to the state assembly after final consultations in New Delhi with the authorities concerned, including the Union Home Ministry on the availability of central forces for deploying in the state on the polling dates,” Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told reporters here yesterday.
The three-member poll panel, including Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi has been in the city since Friday to assess the preparation for the ensuing assembly election and ascertain views of the political parties and top officials.
Of the 225-member assembly seats, 224 are elected from across the state and one member is nominated to give representation to the Anglo-Indian community in the state.
“We had constructive discussions with seven political parties, including, national, regional and new entities to conduct fair and peaceful poll. We will consider their suggestions and inputs to prevent malpractices and violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) that will come into force the day polling dates are announced in due course,” Sampath said.
The state has a 41.9 million strong electorate and 50,446 polling stations. Around 99 percent of voters across the state have electoral photo identity card (EPIC).
“All the parties have assured us to extend full cooperation to conduct the poll in fair, free and peaceful manner. On our part, we will ensure strict enforcement of the MCC and stringent action will be taken against distribution of money, liquor and other inducements. We expect officials deputed on election duty to maintain neutrality till the entire process ends,” Sampath said.
As some of the parties have requested that the election be held on one day than in phases, the CEC said the poll panel would take a call after ascertaining with the Home Ministry the availability of forces. IANS