Congress, Left want single-phase polling

Congress, Left want single-phase polling

The Congress and Left pitched for single-phase Assembly polls during their meeting with Chief Election Commission Om Prakash Rawat on Wednesday.

The BJP, however, was silent on the dates, only requesting the Election Commission to hold the election in the middle of the week and not on a weekend. The JD(S) has sought multi-phase polls.

Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar had recently recommended to the Election Commission for single-phase elections akin to the 2013 polls. This, he argued, would deter "bad or rowdy elements from indulging in multiple or bogus voting and intimidation of voters".

An Election Commission of India (ECI) delegation led by Rawat met representatives of various political parties as part of a two-day review of the state's election preparedness.

The Congress urged the ECI not to announce election dates in a hurry, KPCC vice-president B L Shankar told reporters. "The model code of conduct should not be imposed earlier than prescribed, because the term of our government ends in May," he said.

The Congress demanded "complete transparency" in the use of the electronic voting machines, while the JD(S) has asked for ballot papers to be used given the "suspicions that EVMs can be tampered with".

Shankar said the Congress asked for votes cast on the EVM and the printouts from the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines to be tallied in all polling booths of a constituency if there were doubts raised. "Also, we want every single EVM to be used in mock-polling."

The JD(S) has sought voter IDs to be linked with Aadhaar to weed out bogus voters, its leader Ramesh Babu said. "We have also told the ECI that officials are colluding with the Congress. We will give them names," he said.

The BJP highlighted irregularities in the inclusion of new voters.

"In the KR Puram constituency, people are being enrolled on the basis of just an affidavit. This has to be reviewed," BJP leader Vivek Subba Reddy said. "We have urged the ECI to take note of officials colluding with the Congress in KR Puram and BTM Layout."

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