CEC holds extensive meeting with Karnataka officials

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Bangalore, Jan 9 (UNI) In view of the forthcoming mid-term elections to Karnataka Assembly, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and his team today held a day-long meeting with various officials of the State Government and the State Election Commission(SEC).

The EC team, including Navin Chawla and S Y Quraishi arrived in the city last night and held consultations at Vidhana Soudha today to review the State's preparation for the elections. The delegation also included four observers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

Sources said Mr Gopalaswami instructed the SEC officials to finalise the voters' list immediately and get prepared to hold free and fair polls in the State. SEC should ensure that all new voters were included in the list and those who had left the place or died be deleted without fail, he added.

The CEC asked the officials to ensure that efforts were made to eliminate 'bogus' names.

Mr Gopalaswami and his team held discussions with three advisors to the Governor -- P P Prabhu, P K H Tharakan and Krishna Prasad, as well as 12 IAS officials, appointed specially for the election purpose. The team also consulted with many district officials in the state.

CEC criticised SEC for not finalising the draft voter's rolls.

Some political parties lodged a complaint to the CEC that names of thousands of ineligible voters in the voters lists in many parts of the state were recorded.

Chief Electoral Officer R Ramaseshan, however assured that a draft voter's list would be presented tomorrow.

The Governor's rule would end on May 27 and the election process would have to be completed by then, sources added.

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