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Presidential elections begin in Karnataka today

The JD(S) declares to abstain from voting just a day before the poll, ignoring the state BJP's appeal for support.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2007 11:01 AM IST

Polling for presidential election began on Thursday morning in Karnataka, where JD(S) is abstaining from voting despite being a ruling coalition partner of BJP.

Just a day before the poll, ignoring state BJP's appeal for support, JD(S) announced its decision saying it was in line with its stand at the national level to maintain "equi-distance" from both the Congress and BJP.

JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda described his party's alliance with BJP as "purely a local arrangement" to avoid frequent elections.

Polling began at Vidhan Soudha, the state secretariat, amidst tight security.

Congress is expected to get more than its share of votes with eight JD(S) rebels declaring their support to UPA candidate Pratibha Patil.

The value of MLA's vote is 131 in Karnataka which has a 224-member assembly and that of an MP is 708. The state has 28 Lok Sabha members and 12 Rajya Sabha members.

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