Hubbali: Congress leader V S Ugrappa has opined that the by-elections that are to be held in the month of October will not be ‘free and fair’.
Addressing the media here on Tuesday, September 24, he said, “The Central government is misusing the Election Commission of India and hence, I believe that the by-elections which are to be conducted in the state, will not be a fair one.”
“The Supreme Court of India is still hearing the arguments regarding the disqualification of the 17 legislators by former speaker Ramesh Kumar. The Election Commission, on one hand, has filed a petition with the Apex Court stating that there shall not be any stay order imposed on the by-polls in the state and the disqualification case will be resolved soon. On the other hand, it states that there is no objection against the disqualified legislators contesting the by-polls. All this makes one suspect if the EC is being misused.”
“When the State Election Commission states that they are not entitled to partake in the elections, the advocates of the EC are arguing in court that their participation was not objectionable. I wonder if Union Home Minister Amit Shah has directed the EC to act so," he added.
It can be recalled that on Monday, the Apex Court had heard the arguments of the former Karnataka Assembly speaker as well as the disqualified legislators and the EC, after which it had decided to postpone the hearing to Wednesday, September 25.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had informed the court that the former speaker had not given sufficient time to the disqualified MLAs to provide an explanation for their mass resignation. Following this, the court issued notices to Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders, seeking an explanation.
Rohatgi had also brought to the notice of the court, that the last date to submit the nominations for the by-polls is September 30.
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