Karnataka polls: No new work, says EC to BJP govt

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Bangalore, Mar 21: The BJP government in Karnataka should not announce any new schemes or inaugurate projects since the model code of conduct for the Assembly polls to be held on May 5 has already come into force, the Election Commission (EC) stressed.

Addressing newspersons here on Thursday, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said that "No new work will take-off". However, the state government can make the necessary arrangements in "emergency cases". This means that drought relief measures are permitted as are steps to alleviate water scarcity.

Referring to the security aspect, Jha pointed out that "We require more paramilitary forces as it is a single phase poll." Besides the state police, over 500 companies of paramilitary forces will be needed, he said.

Election Commission officials will inform the Home and Railway ministries about their additional requirement of paramilitary forces, Jha said.

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and other officials who had held talks with representatives of political parties and top police officers here some days ago would again return in a week's time to oversee the poll preparedness in the state, he said.

About the voters' list, Jha said that 1.65 lakh names were added during its latest revision. Hence the total electorate is nearly 4.2 crore now. Of these, 2.04 crore voters are female and the rest male.

When asked about reports of glaring errors in the voter database, Jha admitted that some disrepancies are there. He said that the commission has rectified the error in "43,000 such cases".

Stating that a Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign would be soon conducted to exhort voters across the state to exercise their franchise this time, he added that the commission will focus on Bangalore as the polling percentage last time (the 2008 state Assembly elections) was "not that much" in the Garden City.

OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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