'EC restrictions may result in low voter turnout'

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Mysore, May 1: Former chief minister and senior Congress leader S M Krishna has alleged that due to heavy restrictions from the Election Commission(EC), there might be a low-turnout in the ensuing assembly elections to Karnataka. Talking to newspersons here yester, he said though the Election Commission's decision to enforce the election code of conduct strictly, will only facilitate the process, the decision to restrict the campaign and not permitting the candidates to meet the voters might result in lower percentage of polling.

Mr Krishna said all parties should discuss the issue in detail before meeting the EC in New Delhi to apprise it about the exigency of the situation. He said there would not be any ''hung assembly'' and Congress was the only party which capable of providing efficient administration. The people are disgusted with the coalition governments for the last four years and were yearning for a single party governance, he added.

The Congress leader said he had decided not to contest the poll after seeking the party president Sonia Gandhi's permission as he would spend more time on election campaign to ensure the return of Congress Government in the state.

He said the Congress and the BJP would witness straight fights in large number of constituencies in the state. However, in some areas like old Mysore, Congress could expect tough fight from Janata Dal(JD)S, and though Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) and SP are not a force-to-reckon with, they could to cause split in the votes of other parties, he added.

Denying the accusation that being a pro-urban-oriented man, he meted out a step-motherly treatment to rural areas he said during his tenure as the Chief Minister, he emphasised more from rural point of view.

He said he was not in the race for the Chief Ministership, if his party was elected to power. The party high command would take a decision on the issue after the elections, he added.

UNI

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