Bengaluru and New Delhi, May 12:
People in Karnataka are on Saturday voting in 222 out of 224 assembly constituencies in what is seen as a tight, three-cornered contest between the ruling Congress, the BJP and the JD(S).
BJP chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa cast his vote as soon as the polling began and sounded confident of forming the next government. While chief minister Siddaramaiah urged voters to keep in mind while going to vote “the remarkable progress Karnataka has made in five years”, Deve Gowda said the JD(S) will do better.
BJP’s B Sriramalu, against whom the Congress has moved the Election Commision over a sting video, worshipped a cow before casting his vote. JD(S)’s HD Kumaraswamy met Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswami of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Jayanagar.
Here are Karnataka elections live updates:
11.30am: Karnataka assembly: JD(S)’s HD Kumaraswamy and his wife cast their votes in Ramanagara, “We are confident that JDS will cross the magic number on its own,” Kumaraswamy says.
11.22am:BJP Karnataka chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa on Saturday expressed confidence that his party will form the new government on May 17.
11.17am: 24% voter turnout has been recorded till 11am, reports ANI.
11.15am: Chief minister Siddaramaiah in a tweet says: “Today people of Karnataka are standing in queues to create history & show the nation the way to liberal, progressive, peaceful & compassionate politics & governance. I thank them for their support & wish them well.”
11.10am: Sri Sri Ravishankar casts his vote at a polling booth in Kanakapura.
11.08am: Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa alleges EVM tampering in a Bengaluru booth.
10.15am: During the initial hour of voting, there were reports of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioning in some booths; power crisis in a polling station in Rajajinagar seat; voters names missing at few booths and women clad in burqa made to reveal their faces at a Belagavi polling booth — that led to a few hiccups.
10.05am: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge says the Congress is confident. “BJP will not win more than 60-70 seats maximum, forget getting 150. They are just dreaming of forming the government,” says Kharge.
9.59am: Former cricketer Anil Kumble and his family show inked fingers after casting their votes in Bengaluru.
9.45am: Moorusavir Math’s Gurusidda Rajayogindra Mahaswami cast his vote in Hubli, Mysuru’s erstwhile royal Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar votes in Mysuru. Karnataka minister KJ George, who is contesting from Sarvagnanagar constituency, casts his vote in Bengaluru.
9.30am: 10.6% voter turnout has been recorded till 9am, reports ANI.
9.13am: JD(S)’s HD Deve Gowda casts his vote at polling booth number 244 in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district, says, “We expect a possibility of forming the government, we have done well.”
8.50am: JDS’s HD Kumaraswamy meets Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswami of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Jayanagar.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru’s Koramangala.
8.30am: BJP’s B Sriramalu performed ‘gau pooja’ (cow worship) before casting his vote. He is contesting against chief minister Siddaramaiah from Badami constituency.
The Congress has moved the Election Commission to disqualify Sriramalu, considered to be close to the controversial Reddy brothers, citing sting videos allegedly showing him and G Janardhana Reddy negotiating a bribe to a relative of a former chief justice of India to influence a verdict in a mining case.
8.15am: Police have deployed 82,157 personnel for election duty that include DSPs, home guards and civil defence and forest guards and watchers, Karnataka DGP Neelamani N Raju has said.
8.01am: A faulty Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine is being replaced at booth number 108 in Hubli. Voting is yet to resume at the booth, ANI reports.
7.42am: Chief minister Siddaramaiah urges people going to cast their votes to “remember the remarkable progress Karnataka has made in 5 years”.
7.08am: BJP chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and Union minister and BJP leader Sadananda Gowda cast their vote in Shimoga and Puttur, respectively.
7.01am: Voting begins in 222 assembly segments in Karnataka.
6.58am: BJP’s Sadananda Gowda says there will be an increase in voting this time. They (the people) want to remove the Siddaramaiah government from Karnataka, he says.
6.50am: Yeddyurappa says people are fed up with the Siddaramaiah government. “I assure the people of Karnataka that I’m going to give good governance,” ANI quotes the BJP chief minister candidate saying.
6.48am: BJP chief minister candidate BS Yeddyurappa performs puja at his residence ahead of voting, appeals everyone should come out and vote. “We (BJP) will get more than 150 seats and I’m going to make the government on May 17,” he says.
6.47am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet urges voters to come out in large numbers to vote. “Urging my sisters and brothers of Karnataka to vote in large numbers today. I would particularly like to call upon young voters to vote and enrich this festival of democracy with their participation,” tweets the PM.
6.45am: Preparations in Karnataka begin ahead of assembly polls, voting to start at 7am.
- The Congress on Friday asked the Election Commission to disqualify BJP candidate B Sriramulu over a bribery allegation. Sriramulu, a friend of controversial mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, is contesting elections from two constituencies: Molakalmuru and Badami.
- Security tech hub and state capital Bengaluru was increased ahead of the elections. “A total of 10,500 policemen, 4,500 armed police and 2,500 home guards are being deployed ahead of the elections on Saturday,” said Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar.
- The Shiv Sena on Friday accused its estranged ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, of rigging EVMs to win elections. The recovery of “fake” voter ID cards in Bengaluru show how the electoral process in Karnataka has touched a new low, the party said.
- There are more than 4.96 crore voters who will choose their representatives from a field of little over 2,600 candidates, news agency PTI reported. Men account for over 2.52 crore voters, women around 2.44 crore, while there are 4,552 transgender electors.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times