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New K’taka bypoll schedule: Venugopal says EC acting like ‘yet another govt dept’

 

New Delhi: Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal on Friday alleged that the Election Commission was acting like “yet another government department” and said the new schedule for the Karnataka bypolls have been made to “facilitate the purification” of disqualified legislators.

According to a notification issued by the Election Commission on Friday, bypolls to 15 Karnataka Assembly seats, which the poll panel had decided to defer, will be held on December 5. Citing proceedings in the Supreme Court on Thursday regarding the pleas filed by 17 disqualified MLAs of the state challenging their disqualification, the EC said that after deliberations, it has decided that the nomination process will restart on November 11 as per the new schedule.

The apex court will hear the matter next on October 22 and has expressed its inclination to decide the issue. In July, then Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 MLAs — 13 belonging to the Congress, three JD(S) and one Independent — which eventually led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.