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Karnataka Elections, 2018: Highlight on the Campaigns

The tenure of Karnataka assembly ends on May 28, 2018, thereby an election will be held in Karnataka on 12 May 2018 in 223 constituencies out of 224 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, 1 constituency has been postponed following the death of B.N. Vijay Kumar, Jayanagar BJP candidate. The counting of votes and announcement of result will take place on 15 May 2018.

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Karnataka Elections, 2018: Highlight on the Campaigns 

May 9, Karnataka 

The tenure of Karnataka assembly ends on May 28, 2018, thereby an election will be held in Karnataka on 12 May 2018 in 223 constituencies out of 224 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, 1 constituency has been postponed following the death of B.N. Vijay Kumar, Jayanagar BJP candidate. The counting of votes and announcement of result will take place on 15 May 2018. 

The two opposition parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (42 seats) and Janta Dal (S) (29 seats),along with their allies, will take on the incumbent Indian National Congress (119 seats), while Aam Aadmi Party will mark its debut in the state.The Bahujan Samaj Party made an alliance with the JD(S) and decided to contest 20 of the 224 seats. A total of 113 seats are needed for a majority. 

The schedule of the election was announced by the Election Commission of India on 27 March 2018. It announced that polling would be held in a single phase on 12 May and that results would be declared on 15 May. 

Major Highlights and Controversies on the Election 

 ? The Times of India reported in late February 2018 mentioned that the state had fewer electronic voting machines than the minimum mandated requirement to be stored going into elections for any state assembly. The report stated that only 20 per cent or 11,398 EVMs were in place against the requirement of 56,994 machines, one each for a polling station. Bharat Electronics Limited provides 80 per cent of the machines during elections. The District Election Officer for the Bangalore region stated that a "vulnerability mapping exercise" would be conducted to ensure "free and fair polls". 

? The Election Commission of India ran into a major embarrassment on 27 March 2018, when Karnataka Congress' social media in-charge, Srivasta, tweeted the dates before they were officially released. BJP IT cell head also Amit Malviya tweeted the election dates. However, both of them got the counting day incorrect in their tweets. Both the tweets were deleted after an outrage on twitter. Amit Malviya later claimed that he got the information from Times Now. The news was reportedly also shown by a local Kannada news channel. Later it was revealed that even Times Now got the counting day incorrectly as May 18 2018, instead of May 15 2018. On 14 April 2018, the committee said that the media reports were mere speculation and not a leak 

? Four days ahead of Karnataka assembly election, the BJP claimed to have found thousands of fake voter ID cards in a Bengaluru apartment that the party says, was linked to a Congress lawmaker, and demanded that elections to the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar constituency be cancelled. More than 10,000 fake voter ID cards have been found in the house of Congress leader's staff in Bengaluru. They are trying to add thousands of fake names in voter list. 

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officially began its election campaign on 2 November 2017. The party spent 85 days covering all the assembly constituencies, culminating in Bangalore on 4 February 2018, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing it. In early March, the party launched a 14-day Protect Bengaluru March travelling across Bangalore aimed at, according to the party, "reviving" and "rebuilding" the city from Indian National Congress' "criminal neglect". 

In the last one month, Yogi Adityanath has made two noisy visits to Karnataka, accusing the Congress government of being anti-Hindu and reminding people that the state was the abode of Lord Hanuman. Adityanath was a "star campaigner" in last month?s Assembly election in Gujarat where he addressed 35 rallies. 

In Karnataka, his campaign may have the opposite effect. 

Karnataka's voters aren't ready and willing to fall for Adityanath?s Hindutva claptrap. A little understanding of the history of elections in Karnataka and a peek into the mind of the state's average voter would make it amply clear that Karnataka is not Gujarat. 

The Indian National Congress also began its election campaign at the same time, PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi began their respective rallies at Chikmagalur and Bengaluru at almost the same time. The two political rivals launched a scathing attack each other. While Rahul accused the PM of resorting to personal attacks, thereby, showing huge disrespect to his post, Modi attacked Rahul over his PM remark. 

This is what Rahul had said, 

?We will not let Modi and RSS touch the Constitution of India. Try it if you dare?

Political parties have intensified the level of campaigning with their star campaigners addressing public meetings across the state. BJP's star campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a public meeting at Bangarapet. During the rally in Bangarapet, PM Modi targeted Rahul Gandhi over his admission that he is ready for the job of the nation's Prime Minister. 

"There are leaders waiting for 40 years... He came like those bullies, barging his way ahead when there are others who have many years of experience. How can someone just declare himself as the PM? Does this not show that his level of arrogance has touched the skies?"  

BJP chief Amit Shah will hold a 70-km road show from Tumkur to Bengaluru. 

Earlier, Congress President Rahul Gandhi visited Dodda Ganapathi Temple in Basavanagudi and held roadshow in Bengaluru's Basavanagudi. After two years, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi addressed an election rally for her party on Tuesday. Ms Gandhi has never addressed the crowd after she quit an election rally midway in Varanasi two years back. 

Verbal Attacks have been going on from both the sides, this is what PM Modi and the INC president had to say: 

PM Modi: The election is not limited to victory or defeat. It will decide the future of Karnataka. The country has figured out Congress culture very well, Congress has not done justice to the aspirations of the people of Karnataka. 

PM Modi will shortly address public meeting in Bangarapet. 

Rahul Gandhi: It's a clear fight in Karnataka. Clean Politics vs. Dirty Politics. Mafia vs. People. With the BJP fielding the corrupt Reddy gang, we are trying a novel approach to fund our candidates. 

Opinion Polls 

Some opinion pollsters asked voters the party leader they would prefer as Chief Minister ? Siddaramaiah (Indian National Congress), B. S. Yeddyurappa (Bharatiya Janata Party). or H. D. Kumaraswamy (Janata Dal (Secular)). 

Lokniti-CSDS conducted surveys between 10 and 15 January interviewing 878 people. While 34 per cent of the sample wanted Siddaramaiah to remain the chief minister for the next term, 19 per cent chose Kumaraswamy and 14 per cent chose Yeddyurappa poll conducted by CHS in the same month found that Kumaraswamy was the first choice, followed by Yeddyurappa and Siddaramaiah in that order. C-Fore's survey of a sample size of 22,357 voters across 154 assembly constituencies between 1 and 25 March showed that Siddaramaiah, with 45 per cent, was the most popular choice for Chief Minister, followed by Yeddyurappa at 26 per cent and Kumaraswamy at 13 per cent, while 16 per cent preferred 'others'.
Karnataka Elections
Karnataka Assembly Elections
Rahul Gandi
Soniya Gandhi
Yogi Adityanath
Amit Shah
BJP and INC in Karnataka
Sandeep Semwal
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