EC issues notification for Karnataka assembly polls

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Karnataka Polls
Bangalore, April 10: The Election Commission on Wednesday issued the notification for the Karnataka Assembly polls. With this, the candidates already selected by different parties can now file their nomination papers for the elections that are slated to be held on May 5.

Since the main parties in the state have not decided who all should be fielded in the 224 constituencies, aspirants have been thronging the offices of the Congress, BJP and Janata Dal Secular.

The new entrants in the fray - the BS-Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) and the BSR Congress launched by B Sriramulu - also have their fair share of ticket seekers.

The BJP has fielded several of its sitting MLAs even though around 30 legislators left the party in the past few weeks. Most of them joined the KJP.

The JD(S) and Congress too have mostly favoured their sitting legislators. Both parties are finding it hard to refuse those leaders who seek tickets especially for their kin.

The sons of former chief minister N Dharam Singh and senior Congress leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge are among the aspirants. The daughter of union minister KH Muniyappa has also sought a ticket.

The BJP faces a different predicament. The party is not sure whether to field three MLAs namely Y Sampangi, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Setty since charges of corruption have been levelled against them.

It remains to be seen how many ticket aspirants will be rewarded in the next few days. The last day for candidates to file nominations is April 17.

A total of 36 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 18. The last day for withdrawing the nominations is April 20. The votes polled on May 5 will be counted on May 8.

Incidentally, the Election Commission has heeded the plea of political parties to extend the polling time by one hour. Now voters can exercise their franchise anytime between 7 a.m and 5 p.m.

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