Bengaluru: After a high octane campaigning that lasted for weeks, over five crore people in Karnataka will decide on who will form the next government in the state.
Voting for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 for 222 seats began at 7 am and will be on till 6 pm.
The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka faces a tough challenge from the BJP which is hoping to return to power in the state.
Karnataka is the only southern state where BJP has been in power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over 20 public meetings in the last ten days of campaigning for the BJP whose chief ministerial candidate is BS Yeddyurappa.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi toured across the state and interacted with voters from all walks of life.
The war of words between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi often got bitter and personal, especially during the last leg of campaigning.
Just hours before the Karnataka Assembly election, the Election Commission on Friday deferred voting in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) constituency, where nearly 10,000 voter ID cards were found in a flat, to May 28.
Voting for another constituency in Bengaluru was postponed due to the death of the BJP candidate and the sitting legislator.
The votes will be counted for 222 of the 224 seats on May 15.
Opinion polls have predicted that neither the Congress, nor the BJP will get majority Karnataka and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular) will be the kingmaker.
Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray — more than 2,400 men and over 200 women.
The total voters including service electors according to the 2018 final rolls are 5,06,90,538, of whom 2,56,75,579 are male voters, 2,50,09,904 females and 5,055 transgender voters.
Officials said 58,008 polling stations have been set up across the state, of which 12,002 have been designated as "critical", with over 3,50,000 polling personnel on duty.
Here are live updates on Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 voting day:
12:03 am: Young voters outside a polling booth in Sadashiv Nagar
11:52 am: Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Matha casts his vote in Tumakuru
11:49 am: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge casts his vote in Basavanagar, polling booth number 108, in Kalaburagi
11:46 am: "I have been visiting villages in the constituency for last 1 and half years. Election campaigning didn't feel any different. Wherever I went, people expressed confidence in Congress government, says Dr Yatheendra, Congress candidate from Varuna constituency and son of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
11:28 am: JDS's HD Kumaraswamy and wife Anitha cast their vote in Ramanagara. Kumaraswamy says, 'We are confident that JDS will cross the magic number on its own'
11:15 am: 24 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 am in Karnataka
10:55 am: Sri Sri Ravishankar casts his vote at a polling booth in Kanakapura
10:23 am: A differently abled person arrives to vote at a polling booth in Badami
09:42 am: Moorusavir Math's Gurusidda Rajayogindra Mahaswami casts his vote in Hubli
09:39 am: HD Deve Gowda's wife Chennamma Deve Gowda, son HD Revanna and other family members also cast their votes in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district
09:33 am: Mysuru's erstwhile royal Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar casts his vote in Mysuru
09:27 am: 10.6 per cent voting till 9 am has been recorded in Karnataka, reports news agency ANI
09:21: Karnataka minister KJ George cast his vote in Bengaluru. He is contesting from Sarvagnanagar constituency
09:12 am: 'We expect a possibility of forming the government, we have done well," says HD Deve Gowda
09:05 am: Former prime minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda casts his vote at polling booth number 244 in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district
08:50 am: JDS state chief HD Kumaraswamy meets Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswami of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Jayanagar
08:40 am: "Today People of Karnataka are standing in queues to create history & show the nation the way to liberal, progressive, peaceful & compassionate politics & governance. I thank them for their support & wish them well," Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweets
08:33 am: BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru's Koramangala
08:16 am: BJP's B Sriramalu performed 'gau pooja' (cow worship) before casting his vote in Bellary. He is contesting against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Badami constituency
08:10 am: Most parts of Karnataka could continue to have light to moderate rainfall accompanied by gusty winds, the weather department has said in its forecast for the state. Officials suggest it would be best for the voters to get out early
07:56 am: A glitch in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine in Hubbali is being reported by news agency ANI. The machine at booth number 108 being replaced, voting is yet to be resumed
07:30 am: A woman waits in queue at polling booth number 172 in BTM constituency, with her dog in tow
07:20 am: People queue up at polling booth number 144 in Badami constituency. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP's B Sriramulu from here
07:19 am: People in Bengaluru cast their votes at a polling booth in Dommasandra B Munireddy School, located in BTM constituency
07:15 am: Early voters have started queuing up outside a polling booth in Puttur
07:11 am: BS Yeddyurappa has won the Shikaripura seat in Shivamogga district of Karnataka seven of the eight times since he first contested there 35 years ago. The only time he lost the constituency to the Congress was in 1999
07:10 am: “People are fed up with the Siddaramaiah government. I urge the people to come out and vote for BJP. I assure the people of Karnataka that I'm going to give good governance,” says Karnataka BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa
07:08 am: Union Minister, BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda casts his vote in Puttur
07:06 am: BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts his vote in Shikarpur, Shimoga
07:03 am: BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa arrives at a polling booth in Shikaripura, Shimoga to vote. According to reports, BS Yeddyurappa was seen offering prayers and performing a puja before stepping out to the polling booth
07:00 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged voters in Karnataka to come out in large numbers and cast their votes. On his Twitter PM Modi said, "Urging my sisters and brothers of Karnataka to vote in large numbers today. I would particularly like to call upon young voters to vote and enrich this festival of democracy with their participation."
06:45 am: High security has been put in place ahead of voting. There will be 10,500 police personnel deployed in Bengaluru city limits during the voting hours today. In addition, there will be staff from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and other units
06:30 am: The BJP is contesting in 223 of the 224 seats, the Congress in 221. The JD(S)-BSP combine is contesting in 218 seats. 180 settling legislators are contesting. 1,142 Independents too are contesting in today's elections.
Note from Kannada.Club :
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