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Polling for Karnataka assembly elections begins

Election Commission has deferred polling in Rajarajeswari Nagar Assembly Constituency after various complaints regarding the distribution of money, gifts and other materials including seizure of thousands of genuine voter ID cards from an apartment in the constituency recently.

Voting will now take place on 28th of this month. Polling for the Jayanagar seat has also been postponed after the demise of BJP candidate and sitting MLA BN Vijayakumar.  About 4 crore 98 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state. 

Of them, more than 2.52 crore are men while roughly 2.44 crores are women and 4,552 transgenders. There are a total of 2654 candidates in the fray of which 2435 are male and 219 female. 

There are a total of 56 thousand 696 polling stations. All preparations are in place for the single-phase polling. There are over 3.5 lakh govt employees on poll duty.

Adequate numbers of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair elections. For the first time, Divyang employees will be deployed at a few select polling stations. 

VVPAT machines will be used with all EVMs. Voters can access the length of queues at polling stations through a mobile app.  Special arrangements have been made for Divyangs and women. There are special Pink booths for women.

Karnataka is seeing a triangular contest between the BJP, Congress, and JDS/BSP combine. The incumbent Congress Govt led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is seeking a second term, while the BJP aims to return to power after a gap of five years.

Four candidates including the incumbent have been chief Ministers of the state. Siddaramaiah is contesting from Badami and Chamundeswari, Yeddyurappa from Shikaripura, Kumaraswamy from Channapatna and Ramanagara,and Jagdish Shettar of BJP from Hubli Dharwar. Siddaramaiah’s son Yatindra is also contesting from Varuna constituency.

The intense campaign saw all parties through political punches and allegations at each other. The important issues in the election are. 

Law and order, corruption, farmers plight, irrigation problems,  lack of infrastructure, unemployment, shortage of drinking water, drought in many areas, politics of dynasty, regionalism, politics of religion, functioning of the incumbent Siddaramaiah government, and anti-incumbency. With the canvasing over, the public puts it all into context before voting on Saturday.


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