Karnataka Assembly polls: No party wanted weekend poll, but…

Bengaluru: Karnataka will vote on May 12, which is a second Saturday – a public holiday including a bank holiday is something which none of the political parties had wished for. The poll date announcement has, in fact, come as a shock to all the political parties, which had reportedly requested the Election Commission (EC) to consider a mid-week date instead of a weekend for the single-phase Assembly elections this year out of fear of losing out on the urban vote share, especially in Bengaluru Urban, where voters are known to go out of the city on a long weekend break. "None of them wanted the voting to take place on a weekend. Second Saturday is a public holiday," said a well-placed source, who did not wish to be named.

The politicians' concern is not without reason. The past history of voting percentage in Bengaluru Urban, which comprises of 28 out of the 224 Assembly constituencies, has been poor in comparison to the rest of the state. 

In 2013, while the state recorded a 71.77%, in Bengaluru Urban only 52.8 per cent voters had turned up to vote. They had done better than the 2008 Assembly elections, when the voter percentage was a mere 47.3. 

According to sources, there were representations to the EC that the poll date should not be on a weekend or coincide with the examinations and Ramzan, which is likely to start from May 15 depending upon the sighting of the moon.

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