Karnataka Election 2018 highlights: Polling ends, 70% voter turnout till 6 pmhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/karnataka-assembly-elections-2018-voting-live-updates-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi-siddaramaiah-yeddyurappa-bjp-congress-5173144/

Karnataka Election 2018 highlights: Polling ends, 70% voter turnout till 6 pm

Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 Highlights: 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. 

Karnataka assembly elections 2018 LIVE UPDATES:
Karnataka Election 2018: At least 4.97 crore citizens are eligible to vote on Saturday. Polling will be held in 222 constituencies of the 224-member Assembly.

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 Election 2018 Exit Poll LIVE UPDATES

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.

Follow LIVE updates on Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 in Malayalam, Tamil

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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.

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.

Election Commission press conference soon

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Karnataka Elections 2018: While polling will take place on May 12, counting of votes has been scheduled for May 15.

Karnataka Elections 2018: Results of the elections will be declared on May 15.

The state of Karnataka goes to polls Saturday in what is seen as a precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Congress looks to repeat its 2013 victory — it had won 120 seats in the House — while the BJP hopes to recover lost ground. The JD(S) may play kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly. In the 2013 elections, the Congress had wrested power from the first BJP government in south India. Then, the BJP government was marred after chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was sent to jail on corruption charges and eventually quit the BJP to form his own party. In the elections that followed, the Congress, riding high on BJP anti-incumbency, swept to power winning more than 120 seats. The BJP and JD(S) won 40 seats each. Results of the elections will be declared on May 15.