Karnataka Election 2018 LIVE: Will Congress be reduced to a ‘PPP (Punjab, Puducherry and Parivar)’ party as prophesied by PM Narendra Modi or will BJP form its 22nd government? These questions will be answered as people exercise their franchise in the Karnataka Assembly polls. Voting, which began on a moderate note, gathered momentum in the afternoon as the deadline neared. Voting has been peaceful by and large barring a few incidents of some non-functional EVMs, missing voter names and procedural delays. Congress spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa kicked up a storm after alleging that an EVM at a polling booth was registering votes only for the BJP’s ‘Lotus’ symbol irrespective of which button was pressed. Congress and BJP workers were also locked in minor scuffles at some places, accusing each other of trying to bribe the voters.
Karnataka is the only state the BJP has ever won in the southern part of the country. The outcome of the Assembly polls is likely to have a major bearing on the future course for both parties. The JD(S), fighting for political relevance, completes the three-cornered contest in Karnataka and may well play kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly.
Karnataka assembly elections 2018: BJP, Congress JD(S) locked in a close fight, here are the Highlights
Five incidents of violence reported across Karnataka
Karnataka police has reported five incidents of violence - two in Bengaluru district, one each in Vijayapura, Hassan and Bengaluru city. Four people have been injured in these incidents. Meanwhile, an old woman attempted suicide at a polling station in Devagiri village of Haveri district as she was upset on not having basic facilities in her village. The 58 year-old woman had come to vote and attempted to commit suicide by pouring kerosene. Then, police and revenue authorities tried to disuade ger and brought the matter under control. She finally cast her vote and went home.
EC denies rigging of EVM in favour of BJP in Hebbal polling station
EC denies rigging of EVM in favour of BJP in Hebbal polling station where repolling will take place on May 14. The matter under technical investigation, said CEO Sanjiv Kumar. "After 63 votes, the EVM malfunctioned and when button number 2 was pressed, which was for Congress, the vote went to number 9 that had a symbol of arrow mark an independent," the CEO said.
Liquor worth Rs 24.83 crore seized, says CEO
CEO Sanjiv Kumar said cash worth Rs 91.58 crore was seized while Rs 24.83 crore worth liquor was impounded. Gold and silver worth Rs 44.28 crore, drugs worth Rs 40.18 crore and other assets worth Rs 65.97 crore have been impounded. Speaking on the repolling at the Lettegollahalli polling booth in Hebbal constituency, Kumar said, "63 people have already cast in Hebbal. They will also be allowed to vote again on May 14. They will be inked again in the alternative finger.'
Youngsters, senior citizens, women have voted in large numbers, says CEO
Youngsters, senior citizens and women have voted in large numbers, says CEO Sanjiv Kumar. 212 ballot units, 340 control units and 698 EVMs and VVPATs were replaced in the mock trial, he said.
Election Commission begins press conference
BJP headed towards landslide victory, says Yeddyurappa
BJP chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa expresses gratitude to the people for voting in large numbers. "Gratitude to the people of Karnataka for voting in large numbers today. BJP is headed towards a landslide victory with all your blessings and support," he tweeted.
Thank you Karnataka!— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) May 12, 2018
Gratitude to the people of Karnataka for voting in large numbers today. @BJP4Karnataka is headed towards a landslide victory with all your blessings and support!#KarnatakaVotes4BJP#KarnatakaElections2018
Rs 94 crore cash seized, says EC
Election Commission says total cumulative gross seizure of cash was Rs 94 crore, liquor worth Rs 24.78 crore and various inducements like sarees, vehicles, dhotis, utensils, electronic gadgets worth Rs 66 crore till Saturday. "This is more than eight times the seizures made in last assembly election," ANI quoted EC as saying.
Siddaramaiah thanks election staff and officers
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah thanked all the officers and staff connected with conducting the election for their hard work and sincerity.
Dear People of Karnataka,— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 12, 2018
Thank you for exercising your franchise today.
I thank all the officers & staff connected with conducting the Election for their hard work & sincerity.
And finally, to all the workers of the Congress party - I am indebted to you for all your efforts.
BJP will form government with full majority, says Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath exuded confidence of a victory for BJP in Karnataka. Talking to media persons here, he said BJP will form the next government in Karnataka "with full majority". Adityanath said that people there "were fed up of the divisive, communal politics of the Congress" and had decided to "punish it" by voting against it. "Farmer distress in that state is at its peak, maximum number of farmer suicides have been reported from there and ministers are distributing money to lure voters but they are on their way out," he said.
Times Now predicts 38.4% vote share for Congress
Times Now-VMR exit polls project BJP will have a vote share of 34. 6 per cent, Congress 38. 4 per cent and JD(S) 19.8 per cent. Congress has never won less than 35% of the votes in the state, in Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha elections. Even in 2014, the Congress, which had been in power in Karnataka for a year by then, survived the Modi wave to some measure and managed to win 41.15 per cent vote share.
Poll of polls predict hung house
Here is the poll of exit polls prediction. BJP will emerge as the single largest party with 98 seats. Congress will come as a close second with 88 seats while the JD(S) may truly become the kingmaker as it is predicted to win 33 seats.
70% voter turnout recorded till 6 pm
Total turnout figure recorded till 6 pm in Karnataka is 70 per cent, says Election Commission. In the 2013 elections, Karnataka recorded the second highest voter turnout in 35 years with a polling percentage of 71.29. However, some voters were still standing in queue even at 6 pm. The turnout figures are likely to go up.
NewsX and ABP both predict BJP will be single largest party
Newsx-CNX predicts 102-106 seats for BJP, 72-75 seats for Congress and 35-38 for JD(S). ABP, in its exit polls, has predicted 97-106 seats for BJP, 87-95 for Congress and 21-30 for JD(S).
ABP News-CVoter has predicted 97 to 109 seats for BJP
ABP News-CVoter has predicted 97 to 109 seats for BJP, while it has given Congress 87-99 seats. It has estimated JD(S) will win 21-30 seats only.
Republic TV predicts BJP win
Republic TV-Jan ki Baat, on the other hand, has forecasted that BJP will form its second government in Karnataka. It has given 95-114 seats for the BJP and 73-82 seats for Congress. It has predicted JD(S) will win 32-43 seats.
Times Now-VMR estimates 90-103 seats for Congress
Times Now-VMR exit polls give an edge to Congress with an estimated 90-103 seats. It has predicted 80-93 seats for BJP and 31-39 for JD(S).
Re-polling at Hebbal booth number 2 on Monday
The Election Commission has ordered repolling at the Lettegollahalli polling booth in Hebbal constituency on Monday between 7am and 6pm.
Except few polling stations, where people are still standing in the line and voting, polling has been completed in almost all polling stations: Election Commission #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/tnmLdKlbhX— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2018
India Today-Axis My India predicts 106-118 seats for Congress
The first exit poll survey is out. India Today-Axis My India predicts 106-118 seats for Congress, 22-30 to 30 for JD(S), 1-4 seats for others, 79-92 seats for BJP.
Chikkaballapur and Ramanagara saw the highest voter turnout at 76% till 5 pm
Till 5 pm, Chikkaballapur and Ramanagara saw the highest voter turnout at 76 per cent. Bengaluru (North) and Bengaluru (South) were the joint lowest at 47 per cent.
Polling ends in Karnataka
Polling ends in Karnataka. Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Karnataka, will address a press conference at 8 pm. Stay tuned for exit polls.
And polling ends across Karnataka. Will BJP form its 22nd govt? Or will the Congress retain power and change the discourse ahead of 2019? Let’s wait for May 15. The latest only on @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/em6MpUFcGE— Aaron Pereira (@aaronpereira) May 12, 2018
Exit polls to begin soon
Various agencies will be conducting exit polls, predicting the results. Some of the popular ones are News24 with Chanakya exit poll, India Today exit poll and C-group exit poll. Follow live updates of Karnataka Election 2018 Exit Polls here
61.25% voter turnout till 5 pm: ANI
61.25% voter turnout till 5 pm, reports ANI. 164 polling units, 157 control units and 470 VVPATs have malfunctioned so far during the elections on Saturday. Officials managed to replace these units.
Re-polling to take place in Hebbal booth number 2
Re-polling to take place in Hebbal assembly constituency's polling station number 2 after voting was stopped due to EVM failure. Polling booth numbers 142, 143 and 144 in Badami's Tippunagar witness less turnout of voters. "Turnout is low as many residents are out of the district due to lack of employment here," ANI quoted locals as saying. CM Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP's Sriramulu from Badami constituency. There are a total of 2,14,834 voters in the constituency.
Voting won't be extended and will end at 6 pm, says EC
Reacting to rumours that voting time has been extended till 6.30 pm, the Election Commission has said that polling won't be extended beyond 6 pm. Earlier in the day, a false news was reportedly being circulated in messaging platforms that voting time had been extended till 6.30 pm. "Polling has been peaceful so far. Voting won't be extended and will end at 6 pm," the EC clarified.
Dates of PM's visit to Nepal decided in February itself, says foreign secretary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal was decided soon after K P Sharma Oli's election as the prime minister, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said amid speculation over its timing that coincided with the Karnataka assembly elections. "Whenever state visits take place, they are decided as per the convenience of the two nations. No one prime minister alone can say that I will come at this time. So, don't focus on the dates, but focus on the content of this visit," the foreign secretary said.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar with his family show their inked finger after casting their vote for the Karnataka assembly election in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Want free dosas and coffee? Show your ink mark please
An eatery at Nrupathunga Road gave free coffee to voters after seeing the ink-mark on their fingers and their voters card. First-time voters were given free dosas. Several of the first-time voters, aged 18-19, who comprise 15.42 lakh of Karnataka's 5.06 crore electorate, took selfies with ink mark on their index finger after coming out of the polling booths. A few hospital patients here were seen reaching the voting booths in ambulances to cast their vote, while several senior citizens across the state braved the summer heat to stand in the queues in order to vote.
Karnataka will express faith in Modi's leadership, says Jitendra Singh
Minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh expressed confidence that the BJP would form the next government in Karnataka. "Rahul Gandhi has unveiled himself by stating he is ready to become the prime minister of the country and thus spoke of the dynasty rule," he said. Singh said the youth constituted 70 per cent of the nation's population and they had "tasted the real democracy" under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rule. "I have full faith that the people Karnataka will express their faith in the leadership of Modi and help him to take India to new heights...by becoming part of the New India," he said.
Exit polls after one-and-a-half hours
The exit polls on Karnataka Elections 2018 will be announced just after voting ends on May 12, that’s after 6 pm. Some of the popular ones are News24 with Chanakya exit poll, India Today exit poll and C-group exit poll. Click here to know all about the exit polls
Youth posts photo of him casting vote
Meanwhile, in Hassan constituency, a youth took a photo casting his vote, breaking the secrecy of voting. He had even uploaded the picture on his Facebook account, which he has deleted now. The youth posted the photo of pressing the button opposite BJP candidate Preetham Gowda on the EVM. He posted the picture on the FB account with a caption – ‘Vote For....’ The photo was liked by many on his account and it went viral in the city.
Centenarian seer of Siddaganga Math casts vote
Shivakumar Mahaswamiji, senior seer of the Siddaganga Math at Tumakuru, who is said to be 111-years-old, exercised his franchise in the Karnataka assembly elections. He came by car to the polling booth inside the Math. The seniormost pontiff of the powerful and politically influential Lingayats, the majority community, has reportedly never given a miss to voting in the elections.
Congress candidate attacked in Parasanahalli
Meanwhile, reports emerged that BP Manje Gowda, Congress candidate from Holenarasipur constituency, was allegedly attacked by JD(S) workers at Parasanahalli. Gowda said the mob threw stones at his car and his assistant suffered a head injury in the incident. Speaking to the media Gowda said he rushed to the spot after receiving information that a JD(S) worker was casting votes on behalf of other voters at Parasanahalli village.
Rains lash Hubli
While high temperatures were reported from some areas in Karnataka (in Kalburagi it was 43 degrees celsius), rains lashed parts of Hubli affecting voting. Below, voters can be seen taking shelter at Polling Station 185.
Karnataka: Rain lashed parts of Hubli affecting voting, voters take shelter at Polling Station 185. pic.twitter.com/gozEZFIJGY— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2018
Tarkaspet and Lingasugur villagers boycott elections
Majority of the 3,500 residents of Chittapur taluk's Tarkaspet village in Kalburagi district are boycotting the elections over their demand for Gram Panchayat headquarters for their village. Moreover, about 750 voters of Lingasugur taluk, Raichur district, have boycotted the elections demanding construction of a bridge over the Krishna river to their village. The villagers have blocked the entry of the village by placing wooden logs on the road and have asked politicians and police not to enter.
Majority of the 3500 residents of Chittapur taluk's Tarkaspet village in Kalburagi district are boycotting #KarnatakaElections2018 over their demand for Gram Panchayat headquarters for their village. pic.twitter.com/Mg3hIKtnbK— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2018
Now, Congress accuses PM of influencing Karnataka voters through Nepal temple visits
The Congress on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to “influence” voters in Karnataka on the polling day through his temple visits in Nepal. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Nepal, prayed at Muktinath temple, which is regarded sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, becoming the first world leader to offer prayers there. He also offered prayers at the Pashupatinath temple. Congress leader Ashok Gehlot alleged that PM had timed his visit to the Himalayan nation on the Karnataka poll date, and was 'giving a message to Hindus' in the southern state. Alleging violation of the model code of conduct, he said Modi's temple visits in Nepal were being aired on the day of polling in Karnataka. “This is not a good tradition in a democracy. In Gujarat also, he held a road show after voting. Today, he has adopted a new path. When Karnataka is polling today, he has gone to Nepal and is worshipping in temples there, as he could not do so in the southern state due to elections,' Gehlot said.
Good turnout being reported across state, says Congress
In a tweet, the Congress party expressed satisfaction with the good voter turnout. "Good turnout being reported from across the state as people line up to vote for a Congress government. We again appeal to citizens to ensure a record voting percentage so that Karnataka has a stable, progressive and inclusive government," Congress said.
Good turnout being reported from across the state as people line up to vote for a Congress Government.— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) May 12, 2018
We again appeal to citizens to ensure a record voting % so that Karnataka has a stable, progressive & Inclusive Government. #KarnatakaVotesForCongress pic.twitter.com/HjzTAxT03q
In 2013, Karnataka recorded the second highest voter turnout in 35 years
In the 2013 assembly elections, Karnataka recorded the second highest voter turnout in 35 years with a polling percentage of 71.29. The highest voter turnout of 71.90 per cent was registered in 1978. The highest voter turnout was recorded in Chikkaballapur district with 83.50 and the lowest in Bangalore Urban district at 57.58 per cent. In the last elections, voter turnout for men was 66.33 per cent and for women 63.23 per cent.
High temperature behind low turnout?
So what is the reason behind such a low voter turnout? According to locals at Kalaburagi, which is sizzling at 43 degrees celsius, the high temperatures have been a restraining factor. 'There was a rush at the booths in the morning, but now there is hardly any crowd at the booths as the temperature is quite high. Right now, it is more than 40 degrees,' ANI quoted a local as saying.
43-degree Celsius temperature in Kalaburgi affects the voter turn out. Locals say, 'there was a rush at the booths in the morning, but now there is hardly any crowd at the booths as the temperature is quite high. Right now, it is more than 40 degrees.' #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/y4YAg9AZFM— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2018