EC to hold Karnataka bypolls on Dec 5; BSY fills vacant ministerial berths

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The EC on Thursday had informed the Supreme Court it would defer the bypolls in the state till it finally decided on the rebel MLAs pleas filed by 17 disqualified MLAs.

The Election Commission on Friday (September 27) announced that by-polls to the 15 Assembly seats in Karnataka will be held on December 5.

Filing of nominations can be done between November 11 and 18. Those who have already filed between September 23 and 28 would also be taken up for scrutiny, the EC announced.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa allocated 14 portfolios to serving ministers in the cabinet. The positions were kept vacant to accommodate the Congress and JDS MLAs who resigned from the Assembly leading to the fall of the coalition government in the state.

While B Sreeramulu has got Backward Classes Welfare, Jagadish Shettar has been given Public Enterprises. V Somanna has been put in charge of Horticulture and Sericulture while C T Ravi takes charge of Sugar ministry and Basavaraj Bommai the ministry of Co-operation.

The poll panel’s decision comes as a relief to the disqualified MLAs who were staring at an uncertain future as they were barred from contesting elections.

The disqualified MLAs have been looking forward to BJP tickets for their relatives from their respective constituencies if the apex court’s decision were to go against them.

Following the Supreme Court deferring the hearing of the case of rebel MLAs who sought to quash the Speaker’s disqualification order, the EC on Thursday had announced that the elections, which were scheduled to be held on October 21 along with Maharashtra and Haryana elections, stands postponed.

.ALSO READ: Karnataka bypoll deferred till SC decision on disqualified MLAs

The Congress, however, questioned the EC’s decision which made back to back changes in less than a week.

“The Election Commission now acts like yet another govt department. Postponing elections after starting the proceedings is quite unusual. The new schedule also seems to have been made to facilitate the purification of the disqualified MLAs,” Congress party’s general secretary K C Venugopal said on Twitter.

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