Parties welcome Karnataka election dates, campaigns already at fever pitch

Hugh Fox
March 28, 2018

This leak comes as a major embarrassment for the EC coming at a time when the credibility and the independence of the EC have been in question after opposition parties have alleged bias in the functioning of the EC.

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BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya today tweeted the date of the Karnataka Assembly polls before the Election Commission announced it, prompting the panel to describe the leak as a "very serious issue" that merited a probe and "stringent action".

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Even as Rawat was in the midst of his conference and had not announced the election schedule, both the BJP and Congress functionaries tweeted that the polls would be held on May 12 and the counting of votes would be on May 18. The polls are being seen as politically crucial for Karnataka's ruling Congress as well as the BJP. As for the BJP, former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa remains the only man trusted to deliver with his strong appeal among the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community which constitutes about 17% of the population. "The EC is a puppet dancing on the directions of the BJP".

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Shortly after the incident, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala took a dig on BJP and said that the BJP has become the "Super Election Commission". "It is clear that what the BJP will do, the EC will ensure", he said. The party high command has made a marked shift in its approach to facing elections by giving greater leeway for the state strongman. While the talk of an opposition coalition ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls has always been discussed, AAP has often found itself outside such talks. Whether its Trinamool or any other. "These (Singh's) comments need to be understood in the context of the possibility of a third front", a senior party leader said.

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