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Karnataka Polls: Voting Picks Up, Crosses 28. 90% Turnout 12 Noon

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Bengaluru: Days after an electrifying campaign from  major political parties – ,Congress, BJ and JD(S), the polling started in Karnataka from this morning at 7. Over 28.9

% electorate cast their votes till 12 noon and the result of the election will be declared on May 13.

The campaigning to elect members

of the 224 seats in the Karnataka assembly   ended on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi have all extensively campaigned in the state. Apart from the prime minister  chief ministers from the BJP ruled states like Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, and Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan campaigned for the saffron party

Prime Minster Narendra Modi was leading the BJP’ campaign from the forefront.  Modi alone held 19 election rallies and 6 roadshows across Karnataka. PM Modi also held a shorter roadshow on Sunday, on a different route the day after a three-hour roadshow in Bengaluru.

Apart from the prime minister, BJP President JP Nadda addressed 10 public rallies and 16 roadshows, while Amit Shah attended 16 gatherings and 15 roadshows. Union Minister Smriti Irani attended 17 meetings and two roadshows, Rajnath Singh attended four meetings, Nitin Gadkari three, and Nirmala Sitharaman addressed eight election gatherings. 

A total of 5,31,33,054 electors are eligible to cast their votes in 58,545 polling stations across the state, where 2,615 candidates are in the fray.

Among the electors, 2,67,28,053 are male, 2,64,00,074 female and 4,927 “others”, while among the candidates 2,430 are male, 184 female and one from the third gender.

As many as 11,71,558 are young voters, while 5,71,281 are persons with disabilities (PWDs) and 12,15,920 are aged above 80. While the ruling BJP, riding on the Modi juggernaut, wants to break the 38-year jinx and retain its southern citadel, the Congress is seeking to wrest power to give the party much-needed elbow room and momentum to position itself as the main opposition player in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Also what needs to be watched out for, is whether former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular), will emerge as a “kingmaker” by holding the key for government formation, in the event of a hung verdict, as it has done in the past. “A government with full majority” seemed to be the favourite slogan for the leaders of all the political parties during campaigning, as they stressed on getting a clear mandate to form a strong and stable government in the state, unlike what happened after the 2018 polls.

A total of 75,603 Ballot Units (BU), 70,300 Control Units (CU) and 76,202 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) are slated to be used during voting.

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