Ahead of Karnataka Elections 2018, a full delegation from the Election Commision of India (EC), including the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners, are visiting Bengaluru on Wednesday to look into poll preparedness in the poll-bound state.
This visit is a surprise move as the delegation was expected to arrive only in mid-February, after the summary revision of electoral rolls.
The Cheif Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, who was recently appointed, will be accompanied by Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, besides a host of senior officials. They will be in Bengaluru for two days.
The visit of the full commission before the review of the application and also before the completion of the summary roll has come as a surprise, sources said.
The Election Commission, sources said, will be interacting with all the stakeholders in the election, including political parties besides interaction with the deputy commissioners, who are currently involved in the summary roll revision. On the law and order front, the commission will also be meeting top police officials, sources said.
What has surprised many is the fact that a six-member official delegation headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha visited Bengaluru on January 10 and January 11 to review the poll preparedness and following their visit the last date for filling up the application for including electoral roll had been extended.
According to a source in Government, the early arrival of the ECI could also be an indication to advancing poll dates by a few days, from the current speculated dates in the first week of May.
Meanwhile, the State Government is yet to hear from the Election Commission on the transfer of three IAS officers, which has been stalled for want of consent. The move to transfer deputy commissioners of Hassan, Ramanagaram and Haveri districts had been opposed by the Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar, who had cited the ongoing revision of electoral rolls, for stalling the transfers.