The Karnataka Assembly electionswill be held on May 10 and counting of votes is scheduled for May 13, the Election Commission had announced on March 29. Meanwhile, campaigning for the polls is slated to end today, April 8.
The term of the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly is till May 24 and a total of 5.24 crore electors will be eligible to vote. Announcing the polls, Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, on March 29 had said that apart from youth and urban apathy, the commission found “money power” to be a challenge in Karnataka.
The CEC added that all those turning 18 years of age till April 1 would be eligible to vote, as the EC had enabled them to submit registration forms in advance to get enrolled onto the electoral rolls. As a result, 41,432 young voters who will be turning 18 between January 2 and April 1 will be able to vote.
Schedule for GE to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.#AssemblyElections2023 #ECI #KarnatakaElections2023 pic.twitter.com/93lG2y9QZt
— Election Commission of India #SVEEP (@ECISVEEP) March 29, 2023
The nomination process had started on April 13, with the gazette notification being issued, and drew to an end on April 24, which was the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
For the first time in Karnataka, electors over the age of 80 years, of which there are 12.15 lakh, and persons with disabilities, who are 5.5 lakh in number, will be extended the home voting facility. The CEC noted that PwD electors had increased from 2.5 lakh in 2018 due to the EC’s focus to have a more inclusive electoral roll. He said in the last five Assembly elections, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in 2022 and Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya this year, over 73,200 PwD and 80+ voters cast their votes from home.
“For one vote, three to four persons go, all the political parties are informed, it’s videographed so the secrecy is not compromised. But, it’s worth the effort,” said Kumar.
Forty “ethnic polling stations” would be set up for members of the two particularly vulnerable tribal groups – Jenu Kuruba and Koraga – in the state. The CEC said out of 42,756 transgender persons in the state, the EC was able to enrol 41,312 onto the rolls through outreach efforts.
Addressing the issue of urban apathy, the CEC said while the state’s voter turnout in the 2018 elections had been 72.44%, the turnout in four constituencies in Bengaluru had been below the average and had decreased in 2018 compared to 2013. He said apart from general electoral literacy programmes, the EC is conducting an “electhon” for coming up with ways to boost turnout.Most Read 1 Gadar 2 box office collection day 4: Sunny Deol film records biggest Monday collections of all time, nets a total of Rs 173 cr 2 Bigg Boss OTT 2 Finale Live Updates: Elvish Yadav wins Salman Khan’s show, Abhishek Malhan shares message from hospital 3 Happy Independence Day 2023: Wishes Images, Whatsapp Messages, Status, Quotes, and Photos 4 OMG 2 box office collection day 4: Pankaj Tripathi-Akshay Kumar film delivers better Monday than opening Friday, earns Rs 55.1 cr 5 Jailer box office collection Day 5: Rajinikanth film set to cross Rs 350-crore mark worldwide on Independence Day Advertisement
On the use of money power, the CEC said the authorities had already started cracking down, before the Model Code of Conduct was in place. The EC had increased the number of static surveillance teams from 1,929 in 2018 to 2,400. He said the authorities had already seized more freebies meant for distribution in the polls before the MCC was announced than the seizures made in 2018 during polls.
The EC also announced by-polls for state and Lok Sabha constituencies on Wednesday, addressing all vacancies till February. Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, Jharsuguda in Odisha Assembly, Chhanbey and Suar in Uttar Pradesh Assembly and Sohiong in Meghalaya Assembly will also have polls on May 10 and counting on May 13.
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New Delhi: CEC Rajiv Kumar said there was “no hurry” to announce the bypoll for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, which has fallen vacant with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification. When asked why, Kumar said: “Section 151 of the Representation of the People Act provides that whenever there is a vacancy we have to conduct the bypoll in six months. The vacancy was reported to us on March 23. So, we have six months for that election.” —ENS© The Indian Express (P) Ltd