EC ready to conduct general elections: Gopalaswami

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Hyderabad, Oct 20 (UNI) Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami today asserted that the Election Commission was fully prepared to hold general elections ''whenever it is legally necessary''.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Gopalaswami, who was here to deliver the 23rd Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Lecture at the National Police Academy, said, ''We are ready to hold the polls whenever they are called.'' Describing as a ''good idea'' making exercise of franchise mandatory, the CEC said, ''We cannot expect dramatic results immediately. To start with graduates not exercising their franchise can be penalised.'' However, a daily wager who could not vote in order to eke out a living had a ''genuine excuse,''he added. A separate force for conduct of elections was not required, the CEC stated.

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