Karnataka elections on May 10, vote counting on May 13
Karnataka election will take place on May 10, and the votes will be counted on May 13, the Election Commission (ECI) announced on Wednesday. Nearly 5.22 crore electors are eligible to cast their vote in the elections for 224 seats, of which 173 are reserved for the general category, 36 for Scheduled Castes (SC), and 15 for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
Why does this story matter?
- The election is expected to see a close contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, while the Janata Dal (Secular) could emerge as the kingmaker.
- Notably, the BJP came to power in July 2019 by toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition government elected in the previous Assembly election in 2018.
- The BJP has 119 seats, Congress 75 and its ally JD(S) has 28 seats.
April 20 last date for filing nominations
The gazette notification will be issued on April 13 and the last date for filing nominations is April 20. The nominations will be scrutinized on April 21, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 24. The results are likely to be announced on May 13 as the stipulated date for completing the elections is May 15.
BJP leaders facing corruption charges
While the BJP came to power in 2019 with BS Yediyurappa as chief minister, he was replaced two years later by Basavaraj Bommai. Over the last couple of years, Karnataka has seen a surge in religious polarization, with the ruling party's leaders attacking minority communities. Meanwhile, BJP leaders, including Madal Virupakshappa and Divya Hagaragi are also facing corruption charges in separate cases.
BJP expects to win 150 seats
Notably, the state Assembly's term ends on May 24. For this election, the BJP has set a winning target of 150 seats. The Congress has announced its first list of 124 candidates, while the JD(S) has declared its 93 candidates.
Strict vigil on freebies: CEC
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that godowns and warehouses will be under strict vigil to restrict freebies. A social media cell will monitor the spread of any fake news or misinformation campaign. He said the political parties are mandated to upload detailed information about candidates on their social media accounts and websites. There are over nine lakh first-time voters in this election.
Bypoll dates announced for Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, UP
The ECI also announced the dates for the by-elections. Punjab's Jalandhar parliamentary constituency, Odisha's Jharsuguda Assembly constituency, Uttar Pradesh's Chhanbey and Suar Assembly seats, and Meghalaya's Sohiong Assembly seat will go to bypolls on May 10, and the votes will be counted on May 13.