Congress welcomes May elections in K'taka

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Bangalore, Apr 2 (UNI) The Congress party, which had initially opposed early elections in Karnataka, today welcomed the Election Commission's announcement to hold polls in three phases in the same month.

Speaking to UNI, KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge today said that the party would welcome the decision of the Election Commission and the party was fully geared up to face the polls and was confident of winning a majority.

"We hope the people of Karnataka would not again give a fractured mandate like they did during the 2004 elections. This had led to lot of problems and we have seen the pitfalls of forging coalitions in Karnataka. I appeal to them to elect a single party power," he said.

Mr Kharge urged the EC to ensure that elections are held in a free and fair manner and without any bias. "It should also ensure that money, muscle and liquor power does not have any say in the poll outcome," he said.

He said election held in two phases would have been sufficient but the EC had decided to hold in three phases. "The EC's decision is okay with us anyway," he added.

Former Chief Minister ans Senior Congress leader N Dharam Singh also welcomed the decision of Election Commission for announcing the dates for the elections to the dissolved Karnaraka assembly.

"Congress was well prepared to face the challenge and come back to power" Mr Singh added.

UNI MV RS GM1726

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