10.6 percent voting was recorded in two hours of polling in Karnataka, which began at 7 am on Saturday. The number of bigwigs casted their votes in the morning hours only, while few others are still coming to cast their votes.
The polling, which began at 58,546 polling stations, each equipped with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs), will conclude at 6 pm. The election in two constituencies, Jayanagar and R.R. Nagar, has been postponed. In Jayanagar, the polling has been deferred due to the death of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, B N Vijay Kumar, while in R.R. Nagar, it has been postponed due to fake voter-ID row.
The election in Karnataka is considered crucial for the Congress Party, as it would be looking to prevent the BJP juggernaut from expanding its footprints in the south. Since the 2014 general election, the Congress has been defeated by the BJP in over a dozen states, drastically shrinking its political footprint. BJP is making an all-out bid to oust the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka and is looking to come back to power in the state with B.S. Yeddyurappa, its chief ministerial candidate. Interestingly, no incumbent government has been re-elected in Karnataka since 1985. The Janata Dal (Secular) is looking to establish itself once again in Karnataka politics and is expected to give a tough fight to both the BJP and the Congress.A total of 2,654 candidates are in the fray and 4.96-crore electorate, including 2.44 crore women, will cast their votes. Over 15 lakh people are first-time voters in the 18-19 age group. Tight security is in place to ensure smooth and peaceful polling in 222 constituencies spread across 30 districts, out of 224 of Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The counting of votes and announcement of results will take place on May 15 of Karnataka Elections 2018.
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