BJP wants polling date changed in State

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The State unit of the BJP wants the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka to be held on April 22 or 23 and not on April 17, arguing that the voting percentage could be affected on the scheduled date as it falls amid a series of holidays.

In a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, the BJP said the series of holidays in the second and third week of April in the State could prompt working people, especially government employees, to go on holiday or to their native places and hence they could not be able to exercise their franchise. Former minister S Suresh Kumar and MLC Ashwathnarayana submitted a memorandum to the CEC through Anil Kumar Jha, the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka.

While the polling date (April 17) is on Thursday, government holidays fall on April 12 (second Saturday), April 13 (Sunday and Mahavir Jayanti), April 14 (Monday, Ambedkar Jayanthi), April 15 (Tuesday, Ugadi), April 18 (Good Friday) and April 20 (Sunday). The polling date could be rescheduled to April 22 or 23, the BJP has suggested.

The above holidays are applicable mainly to the State government’s six lakh employees who form a minuscule minority of the 4.46 crore voters in Karnataka.

If employees of boards and corporations are included, the total strength of State government employees would jump to about 12 lakh.

Private companies remain open on most of the festivals/anniversaries mentioned by the BJP.

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