Campaigning for the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka will come to an end today as all three major parties in the state — BJP, Congress and JD(S) — make a final push to attract voters.
Out of the 5.2 crore eligible voters in the state, 9.17 lakh will vote for the first time at 58,282 polling stations set up across the state. Out of the 2,613 candidates in fray for the elections, 185 are women, and one is from the ‘other’ category.
The BJP has fielded 224 candidates, the Congress 223 while the JD(S) has fielded 207.
According to the election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Congress has 31 per cent, BJP has 30 per cent and JDS has 25 per cent of candidates with ‘serious criminal cases’ against them.
Several political leaders who have filed their nominations for the elections have disclosed assets worth thousands of crores.
BJP’s MTB Nagaraj, Karnataka’s Small Scale Industries minister, with assets worth Rs 1,614 crore is the richest among all candidates. State congress chief DK Shivakumar is the second richest with Rs 1,358 crore while BJP leader and Priya Krishna, the 39-year-old Congress candidate from Govindarajanagar constituency, makes up the top three with assets worth Rs 1,156 crore.
The BJP’s campaign in Karnataka was largely led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the party hoping to break a 38-year-old anti-incumbency trend in the state. The JD(S) on the other hand ran a highly localised campaign led from the front by former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
The Congress, boosted by Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar’s defection from the BJP shortly after the ruling party announced its list of candidates for the polls, ran a highly charged campaign fronted by party leaders Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar and Mallikarjun Kharge.
Voting for the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly will commence on May 10 and the counting of the votes will be done on May 13.