Major parties welcome EC's decision

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Bangalore, Apr 2 (UNI) All the major political parties including the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S) today welcomed the Election Commission's (EC) announcement of the Assembly elections in May.

KPCC President Mallikarjun Kharge, in his reaction, said the party welcomed the EC's decision and was fully geared up to face the polls.

''We hope the people of Karnataka will not give a fractured mandate again. We have seen the pitfalls of coalition governments. I appeal to the people of the state to vote the Congress to power for a stable government,'' he said.

He urged the EC to ensure tht elections were held in a free and fair manner. '' The EC should ensure that money, muscle and liquor power do not have any say in the poll outcome,'' he added.

Former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh also welcomed the decision of the EC.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda said his party was very well prepared to face the polls and was confident of winning it.

Welcoming the announcement, the BJP, however, took exception to the EC ordering polls in three phases.

''Karnataka is not that big to order a three-phase poll. The party is confident of winning a majority,'' party spokesperson Suresh Kumar said.

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