Home India Politics Advani seeks early polls in Karnataka

Advani seeks early polls in Karnataka


Bangalore : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Thursday called for holding elections to the Karnataka legislative assembly at the earliest.

The 224-member assembly was dissolved in November last year and president’s rule re-imposed on the state following the collapse of the first BJP-led ministry in the south just a week after it was sworn in, after its coalition partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) withdrew support.

The six-month term of president’s rule expires May 28. If elections are not held within this period, parliament has to approve extension of the central rule.

The BJP, hoping to cash in on a possible public sympathy over “betrayal” by the JD-S whose government it had supported for 20 months earlier, has been demanding polls in February itself.

“I urge the central government not to delay holding assembly elections in Karnataka. It should be held as early as possible,” Advani told reporters.

The BJP leader was in Bangalore to participate in felicitations for former defence minister George Fernandes.

The BJP, which had emerged as the single largest party with 79 seats in the 2004 assembly polls, has been holding public meetings to expose the JD-S betrayal.

The party apprehends that the Congress wants to put off the polls beyond May 28 using the Delimitation Commission’s recommendation on re-drawing assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies as a ruse.

However, the electoral rolls revision in the state is in full swing and Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami, who was here early this month to review the process, has directed that the final draft roll be published by March 10.