Voting for the 224-member assembly has begun in the 222 constituencies in Karnataka at 7:00 am on Saturday.
After a campaign by political parties over the three months, now it’s a time for voters to select their leader in the state. After a numerous campaigns and war of words, finally the polling for the high-stakes assembly elections is here to decide the fate of the top parties. The single phase votting for Karnataka assembly elections 2018 has begun under a thick blanket of security. Polling will decide the fate of 2, 636 candidates fighting to win poll.
Karnataka assembly polls is a tough challenge for Congress-led Siddaramaiah who is contesting from Badami and Chamundeshwari, to form his leadership once again to beat BJP which is hoping to return to power in the state. Karnataka is the only southern state where BJP has been in power.
The election in two constituencies, Jayanagar and R.R. Nagar, has been postponed due to the row of fake voter id.
The votes for the 222 constituencies of the 224 seats will be counted on May 15. Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray -- more than 2,400 are men and over 200 are women. Out of the 224 seats, 36 of them are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs), while 15 of them are for Scheduled Tribes (Sts). The total voters including service electors according to the 2018 final rolls are 5,06,90,538, of whom 2,56,75,579 are male voters, 2,50,09,904 females and 5,055 transgender voters.
EC Officials said 58,008 polling stations have been set up across the state, of which 12,002 have been designated as "critical", with over 3,50,000 polling personnel on duty.
Here are the latest live updates on Karnataka Assembly Election 2018:
11: 47 (IST) I have been visiting villages in the constituency for last 1 & half years. Election campaigning didn't feel any different. Wherever I went, people expressed confidence in Congress govt: Dr Yatheendra, Congress candidate from Varuna constituency & son of #Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
11:38 (IST) 'Voting is duty of every citizen': Lingayat seer Mate Mahadevi
"Voting is the duty of every citizen. There is more awareness than before. What plans the government has in place should be taken in account before people vote," Mate Mahadevi, Lingayat seer said.
11: 28 (IST) HD Kumaraswamy and wife Anitha after casting their vote in Ramanagara. Kumaraswamy says, 'We are confident that JDS will cross the magic number on its own'
HD Kumaraswamy and wife Anitha after casting their vote in Ramanagara. Kumaraswamy says, 'We are confident that JDS will cross the magic number on its own' #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/ARk584lQfR— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2018
11:16 (IST) Responding to allegations of JD(S) workers bribing voters on polling day, party leader HD Kumaraswamy said, "Those are Congress workers, not JD(S)."
11: 00 (IST) BSP workers detained for bribing money on polling day
As per reports, Police seized State BSP chief N Mahesh's car, along with cash worth Rs 11,00,950. Mahesh's relatives were then taken into custody. The arrested have been identified as Prem Nath and Devi Prasad of Humnabad. A case was registered in Kollegal town station by AE Sector Magistrate Kumar.
10:51 (IST) Around 11% polling registered in first two hours across Karnataka
People were seen standing in queues to cast their votes in the early hours itself, factoring in that the temperature may go up later in the day. Also, it has been raining in different parts of south interior Karnataka for the last couple of days during the evening hours. Senior citizens were seen in good numbers standing in queues at various polling stations to cast their votes early. - PTI
10:33 (IST) Former cricketer Anil Kumble and his family cast their votes
10: 15 (IST) Election authorities said "moderate to brisk" voting was seen in 222 seats out of the 224 where polling began at 7 am. There were also several reports about delay in voting due to some EVM glitches from different parts of the state.
10:07 (IST) Dakshina Kannada records highest voter turnout at 16%
As polls continue in Karnataka, EC figures showed that Dakshina Kannada district recorded the highest polling percentage at 16 percent, reported CNN-News18.
10:02 (IST) Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, "We are confident. BJP will not win more than 60-70 seats maximum, forget getting 150. They are just dreaming of forming the government."
10:00 (IST) 10.45% polling registered till 9.30 am
According to reports, 10.45 percent voter turnout was registered till 9.30 am on Saturday.
9: 55 (IST) Bharat Ratna recipient CNR Rao casts his vote, Bharat Ratna awardee said, "We deserve a good government. I have friends in all parties. But I will vote for whoever is deserving."
09:43 (IST) "The voter turnout is a sign of dynamic democracy. I welcome all my young friends who are voting for the first time in Karnataka.
People from Karnataka will be able to celebrate the largest festival of democracy with a great number of celebrations," Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
08:53 (IST) Officials said 58,008 polling stations have been set up across Karnataka, of which 12,002 have been designated as "critical", with over 3,50,000 polling personnel on duty, according to News18.
7: 35 (IST) Bellary: BJP's B.Sriramalu performed 'gau pooja' (cow worship) before casting his vote. He is contesting against CM Siddaramaiah from Badami constituency.
7: 23 (IST) Bengaluru: People cast their votes at a polling booth in Dommasandra B Munireddy School, located in BTM constituency.
7:20 (IST) Bengaluru: Voting for 222 seats is underway in Karnataka, visuals from booth number 172 in BTM constituency.
7:19 (IST) BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru's Koramangala.
7: 17 (IST) Bengaluru: People cast their votes at a polling booth in Dommasandra B Munireddy School, located in BTM constituency.
7:15 (IST): Union Minister & BJP leader Sadananda Gowda casts his vote in Puttur.
7:10 (IST): BJP Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts his vote in Shikarpur, Shimoga.
7:00 (IST):Voting for Karnataka Elections 2018 begins for 222 assembly constituency.
6:57 (IST): People are fed up with the Siddaramaiah government. I urge the people to come out & vote for BJP. I assure the people of Karnataka that I'm going to give good governance says BS Yeddyurappa, BJP.
6:56 (IST): It is an auspicious day, everyone should come out & vote. We (BJP) will get more than 150 seats & I'm gonna make the government on 17th May says BS Yeddyurappa, BJP.
6:54 (IST): Preparations underway in Mangaluru ahead of assembly polls. Visuals of security at a polling booth in Mangaluru
6: 49 (IST): Almost five crore citizens of Karnataka will visit polling booths to exercise their franchise to elect their representatives to the state assembly today
6: 45 (IST): In just a few hours, the 4.94-crore strong electorate will begin exercising their franchise to decide the fates of over 2500 candidates, contesting for 222 assembly seats.