With a total of 4.98 crore voters, accounting for 2.52 crore men voters, 2.44 crore female voters and 4,552 transgenders, Karnataka went all out to vote today to elect their respective representatives. Though the competing parties have done their homework quite well with all the fever pitch campaigns, it is the voters who will decide which party gets the highest marks based on all the campaigns and hard work done by all the parties in Karnataka.
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Arch rivals BJP and Congress have left no stone unturned to form a majority in the state of Karnataka. With the unique strategies to win over the hearts of the voters, both the parties have slogged to win the throne of power in the state. While one party promised to eradicate poverty and 24×7 supply of water, the other promised debt waivers for farmers. To ensure free and fair casting of votes, 55,600 polling stations had been set up, with some auxiliary booths too and 3.5 lakh personnels had been put on duty. Although there are a total of 224 constituencies in Karnataka, elections in 2 constituencies have been deferred. Elections in Rajrajeshwari Nagar seat have been put off to May 28 because of fake ID row and following death of BJP’s candidate BN Vijayakumar on May 8, elections in South Bengaluru’s Jayanagar constituency were revoked.
To anticipate who may win the elections, let us look at the election history of the state. In 1985, Janta Dal under Ramakrishna Hegde retained power. Since then, no other party has been in power twice. However, Chief Ministerial candidate of the ruling party Congress, Siddaramaiah is confident of breaking the jinx. Expressing his utmost confidence, Siddaramaiah tweeted, “I am often told history is against me as no sitting government in Karnataka has been re-elected in a long time. But we are here to create a history and not to obey it.” On the other hand, BJP did not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that history is repeated. BJP launched it’s “Mission 150 (seats)”. Between the years 2008-2013, Karnataka was under the rule of BJP, that was the only time when BJP ruled the state. However, the tenure was marred by some intra-party conflicts and allegations of corruption on the party leaders. One of it’s 3 CMs and current BJP CM candidate, BS Yeddyurappa was jailed over corruption charges.
Without any doubt, the two main contenders for power are BJP and Congress, while former president Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s JD(S) is likely to play the role of a Kingmaker. Danish Ali, a member of JD (S) said, “We are hopeful that public will take a huge decision today to change the politics of nation, will reject national parties BJP and Congress and instead vote for JD(S) – BSP alliance.” When BS Yeddyurappa said that he was confident of forming the government on 17th May, Congress’ Siddaramaiah responded by saying, “He is mentally disturbed now” and even went on to say, “PM Modi’s speeches are hollow that do not make any impact on people of Karnataka.”
With the statements of top leaders of both the parties, it is pretty clear that both the parties are confident of their win. Today’s votes will decide the fate of 2636 candidates and which party forms the government in the state will be decided based on these votes. Well the good news is that, voters turned up in large numbers including senior citizens in good amount accounting to 64% voter turn out till 5pm. While the voters in Karnataka have cast their votes, we can only wait for Tuesday i.e 15th May 2018, to see which party wins the Karnataka elections 2018.