KARNATAKA ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON MAY 12, COUNTING ON MAY 15
• The model code of conduct will also come into force in Karnataka immediately
• The southern state is currently ruled by the Congress
• In the upcoming elections, 224 seats are up for grabs; the term of the current Assembly ends May 28
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU : The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on May 12, and counting of votes will be held May 15, the Election Commission (EC) announced today.
The tallying of votes in favor of the state party election will be held on May 15, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said in a press meet session at the election board’s central command, Nirvachan Sadan, in New Delhi.
Rawat, flanked by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Arora said that total of 49682357 voters are required to exercise their votes for chosing the next party in the State Assembly.
The CEC said that strictest conceivable move would be made against the individuals who were in charge of the leaking the election schedule for Karnataka.
The term of the present State Assembly would end on May 28.
That means the model code of conduct will also come into force in the state immediately. The EC also said that April 24 will be the last date to file nominations and April 27 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
The southern state is currently ruled by the Congress. In the upcoming elections, 224 seats are up for grabs. The term of the current Assembly ends May 28.
The previous assembly polls were held on May 5 in 2013 in a single phase, with 2,948 candidates in the fray. The state witnessed 71.45% polling back then.
For the Congress, incumbent chief minister Siddaramaiah remains the candidate for the top post. The BJP, meanwhile has pitched a former chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa, as its candidate for chief minister.
High-decibel rhetoric and down-low mudslinging on social media have already set the tone for what is shaping to be a big fight between the incumbent Congress and the challenger, the BJP. Another significant player here is the JD (S), which is being seen as a likely kingmaker in the event of a hung assembly.
“It will be a fight to the finish in Karnataka,” said sources in both the Congress and the BJP to TOI in January.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP national chief Amit Shah have already kicked off campaigning in Karnataka’s battleground constituencies.
For the Congress, winning is imperative in the face of its diminished presence in most other states. Since coming to power at the Centre in 2014, the BJP has wrested power from the grand old party in Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Manipur. It is now in power only in two major Indian states: Karnataka and Punjab.
This state poll will also test Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s mass appeal, as it’s the first Assembly elections since he took over as party chief. Rahul was made party head in the midst of elections in Gujarat in December.
For the BJP, a win will mark its entry to the South, which has held out the longest against a BJP onslaught. It’s no wonder then that the party began its official campaign as far back as in November last year.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress got a bit of a boost two days ago when seven JD(S) rebel former MLAs joined the party. The rebel MLAs resigned from the Karnataka legislative assembly a day after they cross-voted in favour of the Congress candidates in the March 23 Rajya Sabha biennial election in the state.
At a meeting yesterday, the names of all 122 sitting Congress MLAs and the recently joined Independent and JD(S) rebel legislators were recommended by the Congress State Election Committee.