Bengaluru, May 12: In what is projected as a tight race between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, polling in Karnataka began at 8 AM on Saturday amid tight security. In the last assembly election in 2013, voter turnout was a high 71.45%. Except for two constituencies, voting will begin at 7 am on Saturday and end at 6 pm. The results for Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 will be out on May 15.
On Friday, the election commission deferred polling in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency to May 28 for which the results will be declared on May 31. EC’s order came after the May 8 raid on an apartment in which 9,896 electoral photo identification cards were seized by officials of the commission. In Hubli, faulty Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine found at booth number 108 being replaced and voting is yet to resume at the booth.
The current polls in Karnataka are seen as one of the most complex the state had ever witnessed with many imponderables that have left most analysts to bet on a fractured mandate in a cliffhanger. One among the interesting aspects of this election is four candidates who have served as chief minister of Karnataka are in the fray -- current incumbent Siddaramaiah (Chamundeshwari and Badami), B S Yeddyurappa (Shikaripura), H D Kumaraswamy (Chennapatna and Ramanagara) and Jagadish Shettar (Hubli-Dharwad Central.)
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Nepal, visited the Muktinath Temple on Saturday morning. The Prime Minister was greeted by the monks and priests. He then offered prayers at the holy abode. On Friday, the Prime Minister strengthened ties between India and Nepal by inaugurating a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya and, with Oli, laid the foundation stone of the 900-megawatt Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant in Tumlingtar area in eastern Nepal.
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