Karnataka Assembly elections to be held on May 10, counting on May 13

29 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

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First-time voters in Karnataka increased by 9.17 lakhs between 2018-19.

The schedule for the Karnataka Assembly elections was announced by the Election Commission of India. On Wednesday, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced that voting would take place in a single phase on May 10. The CEC announced at a press conference here that the vote will be counted on May 13. The CEC stated that the total number of electors in the state is 5.21 crores, with 16,976 voters aged 100 and above. Over 58,000 polling stations would be set up across the state, he said.

“There are 224 Assembly constituencies of which 36 are reserved for the SCs and 15 for the STs. The total electorates in the state are 5,21,73,579 crores of which males are 2.62 crores and females are 2.59 crores. The total number of 80 plus electors is 12.15 lakhs. It is an increase of 32 percent from 2018. It also includes 16,976 proud electors who are 100 plus. The number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) has increased to 5.55 lakhs. This is an increase of close to 150 percent,” Kumar said.

He stated that the number of first-time voters in Karnataka increased by 9.17 lakhs between 2018-19.

“All young voters who are turning 18 years of age by April 1, will be able to vote in the Karnataka Assembly elections,” he said.

The CEC also established security measures for the state’s identified sensitive booths.

“There are 58,282 polling stations in Karnataka of which 20,866 are urban. The average number of electors per polling station comes to 883. On all the sensitive booths which have been identified, we take four to five measures. Either there would CAPF, web-casting, or a micro-observer. With the combination of all of these, we tend to put more vigour and vigil on the sensitive booths,” he informed.

“There would be 240 model polling stations which will be made eco-friendly and green booths. 100 booths would be managed purely by persons with disability,” Kumar added explaining the measures taken by the ECI for attracting the youth to vote.

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, which has 224 Assembly seats, the ruling BJP currently has 119 MLAs, the Congress has 75, and the JD(S) has 28 seats. With the Assembly elections just months away, political parties such as the ruling BJP, Congress, and ally JD(S) launched a barrage of allegations and counter-allegations, with the latter attempting to corner the government on the issue of corruption.

The BJP government, led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, is also working hard to reclaim power, emphasising the Kannadiga issue, reservation for the Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities, and recently scrapping a religion-based reservation for the Muslim community.

Last year, the government proposed that companies that do not give Kannadigas first priority would not be eligible for incentives. The move was made by the government in late last year in an effort to promote Kannada. The Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill included it.