Bengaluru: After the Supreme Court agreed to the Election Commission's (EC) request to defer the by-polls to 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka, JD-S leader HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday said the poll panel's interference in the matter reflects the fact that it is a "puppet" of the Central government.
The election body told the Supreme Court that it would defer the by-polls to 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka till the top court takes a decision on 17 disqualified MLAs, who were seeking interim relief to contest the by-polls.
"The Supreme Court's judgment was a surprise for everyone. I think, after the EC announcing dates for any elections, this is for the first time such decision was given by the constitutional authorities. The Centre sent their representatives in the middle of the argument. The EC is not the party. Then how could they interfere in the argument," Kumaraswamy told ANI.
"The EC is a puppet of the Central government. The EC is not working properly as it is being illegally run by the Centre," he said.
Claiming that the EC is being influenced by the Centre, the former Chief Minister said: "The plea was filed by disqualified MLAs and the issue was between the Speaker and the concerned parties. Who influences the EC to interfere? By seeing this development, anyone can judge that the EC is being run by the Centre."
Echoing similar sentiments, JD-S chief HD Deve Gowda said: "I do not know what made the EC go before the SC and argue that the matter to be deferred. This is for the first time that I have seen such a situiation in my life. I cannot say anything more. I do not know whether all these institutions are going to function in a free and fair manner."
However, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief Dinesh Gundu Rao welcomed the latest development.
"The Supreme Court is going to look at the real intention of the Anti-Defection Law and the orders of Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. If disqualified MLAs can contest by-polls, what is the use of the law," he tweeted.