‘Elections delayed can be democracy denied’

In an editorial today, The Hindu calls for the invocation of Rule 24 of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, to prevent the delimitation notification (which redraws the constituencies) from being used as a ruse to delay the assembly elections in Karnataka due by May 28:

“Delimitation in Karnataka has resulted, in an overwhelming majority of cases, either in one taluka becoming an Assembly constituency or one of the circles being taken away from a taluka for the rest of it to become a constituency. Further, all wards have been kept intact in municipal areas. In a minority of cases, a circle has been broken up between two constituencies. Only in Bangalore will the ‘cut and paste’ task need substantial time, perhaps a month.

“If the Election Commission immediately announces its resolve to hold Karnataka Assembly elections by the due date, it should have a clear 40+ days to do its democratic duty. By invoking Rule 24, it will put an end to unsavoury efforts to force a postponement of the contest through the instrumentality of delimitation. In addition to being anti-democratic, any avoidable delay beyond May could lead to uncharted constitutional areas.”

Read the full editorial: Hold Karnataka elections in May