Karnataka Assembly elections: Polling on May 12, counting on May 15

Congress screening committee meeting. Courtesy ANI news

Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 will be held on May 12 and counting of votes will be done on May 15, Chief Election Commission of India Om Prakash Rawat said while addressing a press meet Tuesday.

The Election Commission announced the schedule of the Karnataka Assembly election: Date of issue of notification: April 17th, 2018. The sate is being ruled by Congress under Chief Minister Siddaramiah and it is one of the few states still left with the party after the saffron party's juggernaut swept nearly every poll that has come in state assemblies.

The term of the current 224-member legislative Assembly ends on May 28. The counting will take place on 15 May. As per rules the assembly election will have to be held and new house constituted before May 29.

Even before the announcement of the election schedule, Karnataka has turned into a political battleground with parties extensively campaigning across the state. While the Congress will strive to maintain its grip in the southern state, the BJP has been conducting extensive campaigning since November a year ago, in an attempt to add another state to the 21 states it is now ruling. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got 40 seats with 19.9 percent votes.

BJP chief Amit Shah was in Karnataka on Monday.

For the Congress, winning is imperative in the face of its diminished presence in most other states.

Karnataka is one of the few states where the Congress is in power.

The results in Karnataka, considered to be the gateway to south India for any political party, will be closely watched ahead of the general election due in 2019.

The Election Commission announced that the elections in the state will be held in a single phase. Since coming to power at the Centre in 2014, the BJP has wrested power from the grand old party in Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Manipur. The Janata Dal-Secular, led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, which is the third force in the state, has announced its pre-poll tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party.

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