The Election Commission's decision to hold by-elections to three Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka on November 3 has surprised political parties who question the logic, with general elections due early next year.
Those elected in the by-poll will have just about five months in office till the election, when the seats will vote again, pointed out both the Congress and the BJP.
By-polls to the Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya parliamentary seats and the Ramanagara and Jamkhandi will take place on November 3 and the results will be out three days later.
The by-polls were required to fill vacancies left by the BJP's BS Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga) and B Sriramalu (Ballari), and CS Puttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya). They resigned as Members of Parliament on their election to the assembly in May last.
On Saturday, the Election Commission tacked on the by-polls to its announcement of election dates for four states.
By-polls to the Jamkhandi assembly seat was needed after Congress lawmaker Siddu Nyamagouda's death, while Ramanagara fell vacant as chief minister HD Kumaraswamy gave up the seat and retained Channapatna, the other seat he won in the Karnataka polls.
The parties welcomed the by-election to the assembly constituencies. The Janata Dal Secular, heading the coalition government with Congress, appeared set to field Mr Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha in Ramanagara.
On a visit to Ramanagara on Sunday, Anitha Kumaraswamy said she would contest there.
Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said the assembly by-polls were necessary as the House still has a term of four-and-half years. But he questioned holding by-elections to the three Lok Sabha seats.
Pointing out that the Lok Sabha was expected by March or April, he said, "We need to think about the need for this (by-poll)."
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara also said the announcement of by-polls for three parliamentary seats was surprising.
Rival BJP concurred with the Congress on this.
BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa termed the Lok Sabha by-polls "unnecessary" and said no party wanted it.
"Election Commission has decided it. Till the last moment we were under the impression that there will be no Lok Sabha by-poll. No party is interested," the former chief minister told reporters in Shikaripura.
"Whoever gets elected will be Member of Parliament for just five months. After that we will have to face election once again. This was unnecessary. Don't know what the Election Commission thought, but we will have to bow to its decision," he said.
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