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Not just this bypoll, there’s more coming up in months ahead

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With  the state cautiously getting into the festival mood in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, the high-pitch campaign for the Assembly bypolls and the biennial election to the Legislative Council has only added to the euphoria. And that’s not all. Karnataka will witness at least six elections, right from the Gram Panchayats to the Lok Sabha bypoll, in the next six to eight months.

Congress leader Siddaramiah takes part in a roadshow
during campaigning forT B Jayachandra, the party
candidate for the Sira bypolls, on Friday | EXPRESS

Hectic campaigning is already on for RR Nagar and Sira Assembly constituencies, which will go to polls on November 3, along with the election to four Council seats from the teachers’ and graduates’ constituencies on October 28.

The Gram Panchayat elections are long overdue and the matter is before the High Court, which has reserved its order. According to sources in the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department, the elections may be held, latest by December.

The terms of Taluk and Zilla Panchayats will end in May 2021 and elections will have to be held for these local bodies too. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, which is presently under an administrator after the term of the council ended last month, is most likely to witness elections by June 2021. The State Government is in the process of delimitation of wards which have been increased from 198 to 243.

If elections are postponed, electoral roll has to be redone, says SEC

The bench said the SEC should function independently, though the state wants indefinite postponement of elections. “Let them (SEC) hold elections in a phased manner, starting from districts where infection is less. But the stand of the state is to simply postpone without finding a solution. Byelections are being held to two Assembly constituencies in the state,” it pointed out.

In reply, the AG said the next two months are very critical, and there are also floods in some districts of North Karnataka. “Let the SEC consult us, I’ll ask the Chief Secretary to have discussions will all deputy commissioners,” he argued.Senior counsel K N Phanindra argued that all DCs were consulted in June itself and they had agreed to hold elections in November and December. The police department also gave the green signal. If elections are postponed, the electoral roll will have to be revised and the term of the elected GP members will get curtailed, he argued.

Supporting the contentions of the SEC, Prof Ravivarma Kumar, senior counsel representing the petitioner, submitted that the State Government has no reason to interfere in the functioning of the SEC, as it has kept temples, marriage halls, theatres and restaurants open, and has no locus standi to object to elections.

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