Bengaluru, May 10: The high-pitched electoral campaign in Karnataka came to an end on Thursday, with the State Election Commission (SCE) barring all political parties from reaching out to the voters for the next 48 hours.
Statewide polls will be held in Karnataka on May 12. A total of 223 constituencies will be contested in the elections slated on Saturday, with the results scheduled to be declared on May 15.
On the last day of campaign, the BJP, Congress and JD(S) made their final poll-pitch to the electorate. The three parties addressed mega roadshows before the SEC announced the suspension of all forms of poll campaign at 5 pm.
BJP chief Amit Shah led a rally in North Karnataka's Badami constituency, which features the candidacy of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
At the press conference addressed by Shah following the roadshow, he predicted the victory of BJP on 130 seats in the state.
On being asked whether the BJP would approach the JD(S) in case of a hung assembly, Shah replied, "There is no question of seeking or giving support to anyone."
The Congress, on the other hand, held a massive roadshow in Bengaluru. CM Siddaramaiah and party president Rahul Gandhi led the rally attended by over ten thousand party workers and supporters.
At the press conference addressed after the roadshow, the Congress supremo promised to "stop the BJP from taking over Karnataka".
"This is a battle between two ideologies and we are bound to win," Rahul Gandhi said.
The polls in Karnataka witnessed the nomination of 2,560 candidates, including 219 women. A total of 800 candidates are affiliated to registered political parties, whereas, 1155 candidates are contesting independently.
Pre-poll surveys have so far predicted a hung assembly, with the incumbent Congress ending up close to the halfway mark.