‘Karnataka notorious for delaying polls’

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BENGALURU: Senior advocate Prof Ravivarma Kumar argued before the Karnataka High Court that the State government’s attitude is stubborn, and it has become notorious for not holding elections on time. Making this submission before a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty hearing a batch of public interest litigations, Prof Kumar, representing a petitioner, argued that the court should take note of the stubborn attitude of the state government.

He argued that the State Election Commission (SEC) had addressed nearly a dozen communications to the State government to perform the statutory duty of delimitation and reservation of wards from July 2018, but the State had not replied.

Therefore, the SEC had approached the high court, seeking directions to the state. Either the SEC or petitioners have to approach court each time to compel the state to cooperate in conducting elections, he argued, while quoting a delay in holding elections to the BBMP in 2015, and Grama Panchayats now.

Prof Kumar further argued that the BBMP term came to an end on September 10, 2020. In fact, there is no provision in law to appoint an administrator but this was done, and his term will come to end in January and cannot be extended, he added.

“The amendment to the KMC Act increases the number of wards to 243 from 198, and will have no application to the present facts and circumstances,” he argued. KN Phanindra, senior counsel representing SEC, argued that elections will be indefinite and at least one year is required to conduct elections to 243 wards, as contemplated by the State Government. Elections cannot be deferred. About Rs 3 crore has been spent for preparing the voter list, etc. Both time and public money will be waste if elections are deferred, he pleaded.

Source/ Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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