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Karnataka assembly elections to be held on May 12, counting of votes on May 15

Chief election commissioner Om Prakash Rawat said ‘accessible elections’ will be the theme of Karnataka elections 2018 where more than four crore people are eligible to vote

india Updated: Mar 27, 2018 17:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
: Karnataka Elections 2018,Karnataka assembly elections,Karnataka assembly polls
A pedestrian walks past election campaign posters for Karnataka elections 2018 in Bengaluru. (Bloomberg File Photo)

The election for the 224-member Karnataka assembly will be held on May 12, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. The counting of votes will take place on May 15.

Notification for the polls will be out on April 17, last date of filing nomination is April 24. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 25.

Announcing the schedule in New Delhi, chief election commissioner Om Prakash Rawat said ‘accessible elections’ will be the theme of the polls where more than four crore people are eligible to vote. Nearly 56,700 booths are being set up and each family will be given a voters’ guide.

Current position of parties in Karnataka
*Including one seat of the Karnataka Makkala Paksha; **Including 3 seats of the Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress and two seats of Karnataka Janata Paksha; One seat is Nominated

The CEC also said Facebook would remain its social media partner for the polls. ‘Social media is a reality but precautions will be taken”, he said. Facebook has been facing a lot of criticism over the data breach that was allegedly exploited to influence polls across the world.

Both the Congress and the BJP have already stepped up the campaign in the state, one of the three where the Congress is still in power and the BJP is pushing for a comeback ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

BJP chief Amit Shah met religious gurus and visited several mutts in Karnataka on Monday. His Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi, too, has addressed several public meetings. His temple visits have been mocked by the BJP as a desperate attempt to win Hindu votes.

A win for the Congress would come as a huge boost not just for the party but also Gandhi, who took over as the party chief in December and has been aggressively taking on the Modi government in public as well as social media.

Karnataka is important to the BJP not only because it will take to 21 the number of states where the party is in power, on its own or with allies, but also because it will be its gateway to South, which is vital to its poll calculations for the Lok Sabha election.

READ: BJP to bet on ‘young and new’ faces in Karnataka assembly elections

The Siddaramaiah government’s move to give minority religion status to the influential Lingayat community, considered a part of Hindu fold, is seen as an attempt to dent BJP’s vote base.

Variously described as an astute political move and sheer opportunism, the decision, sent for approval to the Centre, will be a major talking point in the run-up to the poll.

The Janata Dal (Secular) led by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda is the third player in the fray.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Mar 27, 2018 11:31 IST