EC Announces Karnataka Assembly Elections Schedule

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday announced that the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka will be held on May 10. Counting will be on May 13.

The EC held a press conference in the national capital at Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan.

Karnataka, which has 224 seats in the Assembly currently has 119 MLAs of the ruling BJP, while Congress has 75 and its ally JD(S) has 28 seats.

The Election Commission for the first time has enabled voting from home for the physically disabled, and senior citizens above 80 years so age.

The term of the 224-member Assembly ends on May 24.

As per Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, the total electors in Karnataka are 5.2 crore. He informed that the total number of 80-plus-year-old electors stands at 12.15 lakh.

Over 9.17 lakh first-time voters will participate in the elections. Under Advance Application Facility over 1.25 lakh applications were received from 17 years plus youths, out of which around 41,000 applications were received from youths turning 18 years by April 1, 2023.

The Model Code of Conduct in the state has come into force with the announcement of the poll schedule.

CEC Rajiv Kumar said urban apathy and misuse of money power are the two major issues in the state and appropriate initiatives are being taken in this regard. “We have directed all the enforcement authorities on this,” said the CEC.

The Election Commission (EC) is strengthening its teams to curb the misuse of money power, the CEC said. There will be 2,400 static surveillance teams to keep strict vigil and multiple agencies working in synergy and coordination, he added.

To ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections, the awareness and cooperation of citizens are key. Citizens can report any kind of electoral malpractices to the ECI through cVIGIL App, the CEC added.

Preparations for Karnataka Assembly Elections:
With months to go for the Assembly elections, the political parties including the ruling BJP, Congress and ally JD(S) began the spate of allegations and counter-allegations, with the latter attempting to corner the government over the issue of corruption.

The BJP government, being led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is also putting in efforts to return to power and stressing on the Kannadigas issue, reservation to the Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities by scrapping a religion-based reservation for the Muslim community, a decision which the state government took recently.

The government, last year, had proposed that the companies that do not give first preference to Kannadigas will not be eligible for incentives. The government’s move came in the later part of last year in a bid to promote Kannada. It was included in the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has made several visits to Karnataka, a state which he has described on numerous occasions as the BJP’s “gateway to the South”.

Shah on Monday chaired a meeting with the state BJP core committee and election management committee in Bengaluru on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Amit Shah lauded Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his immediate predecessor and BJP veteran BS Yediyurappa stating that both have provided “good governance” during their respective tenures.

Citing the developmental work done by the BJP government under both chief ministers, Shah urged the people to form the party’s government with a full majority in the upcoming Assembly elections slated this year.

In February last year, Amit Shah urged the people to give a chance to former chief minister BS Yediyurappa for forming a corruption-free government.

He said that Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are dynastic parties and such parties can never work for the welfare of the people.

“Give a chance to Yediyurappa and we will give you a corruption-free government. Congress and JDS are dynastic parties and such parties can never work for the welfare of the people. Every vote polled for JDS will benefit the Congress party, and every vote polled for Congress will benefit Siddaramaiah and his ATM government in Delhi,” he said.