Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday called the Election Commission (EC) a "puppet" of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government.
The comments came after the poll body deferred the bypolls for the 15 assembly constituency, which fell vacant after the MLAs were disqualified, from October 21 to December 5 after the Supreme Court denied early hearing in the petition by rebel MLAs challenging their disqualification. The bench will hear the case on October 22.
"The commission is acting like a puppet of the central government. Its move has only given rise to doubts. Congress is ready to fight the elections," said Siddaramaiah.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said that the ED is acting like "yet another governmental department". 'The new schedule also seems to have been made to facilitate the purification of the disqualified MLAs," he stated in a tweet.
Fifteen assembly constituencies -- Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagara, Chikkaballapur, K.R. Pura, Yeshvanthapura, Mahalakshmi, Shivajinagar, Hosakote, Krishnarajpet and Hunsur -- are scheduled to vote.