An estimated 1.10 crore electorate are expected to decide the fate of 589 candidates, including BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, in the second phase of elections to Karnataka Assembly on Friday.
Electoral authorities have made elaborate arrangements for conduct of the elections in the 12,271 polling stations in 66 segments spread across ten districts, where over 56,000 security personnel would keep a close watch.
In the first phase of elections on May 10, a 66 per cent voter turnout was registered in 89 of the total 224 assembly seats. The third and final phase would be on May 22.
Police have provided an additional layer of security in naxal infested districts of Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur and issued shoot-at-sight orders to deal with outlaws if they attempt to disrupt the poll process in wake of their issuing poll boycott warnings.
Around 16,000 para military force personnel, including 500-strong Anti-Naxal Force, have been deployed in these parts, state ADGP Shankar Bidari said.
Similarly, strong vigil was on in the sensitive Bellary district, bordering Andhra Pradesh where giants from the mining industry are in fray.
The Election Commission continuing its efforts to ensure a free and fair election in Bellary, has deputed senior IAS officer Raymond Peter as special observer, who successfuly checked malpractices in the 2006 by-election to Chamundeswari assembly constituency in Mysore.
Shikaripura constituency in Shimoga District will witness the crucial battle with the presence of two former chief ministers -- Yeddyurappa and Samajwadi Party's S Bangarappa, who have vowed to decimate each other.