New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) this morning announced that the highly anticipated Assembly Elections in Karnataka will be held in a single phase on May 12. The results will be announced on May 15. The 224-member House expires on May 28 this year.
Election Commission will issue the poll notification on April 17 and the last date to file nomination is April 24. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is April 27, date of scrutiny of nomination papers is April 25 and the date of counting is May 15. The results will be announced the same day.
Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat announced at Nirvachan Sadan (Election Commission Office in New Delhi) that the Model Code of Conduct will be in effect immediately. As the Election Commission announced that the Model Code of Conduct comes to effect immediately, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who was in Chikkaballapur this morning, surrendered his official vehicle and proceeded in a private vehicle.
He was in Chikkaballapur to inaugurate a mega milk dairy. He had to leave the place after viewing the construction of the dairy but without inaugurating it.
“Eco-friendly material should be used for all propaganda exercise. Use of loud speakers will be regulated so that people can sleep at night,” the CEC said. He said that special arrangements will be made for women voters including security arrangements. Over 450 all-women centres will be set up and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be used at all polling stations.
Photographs of all candidates will be attached to the voting machines, electronically transmitted postal ballots will be used and election expenditure monitoring has been issued in detail and it will be monitored rigorously, he said.
“EC Social Media hub will look into the allegations of harnessing of user information through mobile applications of political parties and political personalities,” said Rawat.
The ceiling on expenditure by candidates is Rs. 28 lakh but no ceiling on expenditure of political parties. Media certification and planning committees are already in place and their training is underway. “We will monitor paid news and there will be pre-certification of all advertisements in electronic media,” the CEC added.
There are 4.96 crore eligible voters (about 90 lakh added to draft electoral roll) in the State. There are 56,696 polling stations, compared to 52,034 in the 2013 polls, about 9% increase. Matching of EVM output with VVPAT slips at one randomly selected polling station in each constituency will be done.
The Congress is currently in power in Karnataka with 122 seats against the BJP’s 43. Karnataka is one of the eight States that go to polls this year and will set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress has picked incumbent Chief Minister Siddharamaiah as its CM face, while the BJP has nominated former CM B.S. Yeddyurappa.
While the elections are critical for the Congress that has been wiped out from most major States it used to rule, they are also important for the BJP to make in-roads into South India, a region that has proved difficult for it to foray into. The State has seen bitter campaigning by both the parties with allegations of communal and political murders and tit-for-tat charges of large-scale corruption.
IMPORTANT DATES, DATA
Date of voting : May 12
Date of counting (results) : May 15
EC notification (date for filing nomination) : April 17
Last date for filing nomination : April 24
Scrutiny of nomination papers : April 25
Last date to withdraw nominations : April 27
Single phase election
Present Assembly tenure ends on : May 28
Number of eligible voters : 4.96 crore
56,696 polling stations compared to 52,034 in 2013 polls
Photographs of candidates to be displayed in EVMs