Bangalore, May 25: Counting commenced at 0800 hrs today for the 224 member Karnataka Assembly for which elections were held in three phases amidst tight security arrangements. The State witnessed 64.72 per cent polling in the current elections sealing the fate of 2242 candidates, which included 108 women. The final results were expected to be announced by 1500 hrs.
Bharatiya Janata Party, which made an all out effort to capture power, is contesting for all the 224 seats with prominent candidates like Chief Minister aspirent B S Yeddyurappa, who is involved in a tough battle with former Chief Minsiter S Bangarappa in Shikaripur, former Minister Jagdish Shettar (Hubli-Dharwad central) and K S Eswarappa (Shimoga Urban). For the Congress, which is in the fray in 222 constituencies, the prominent candidates included former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh (Jewargi), Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Mallikarjuna Kharge (Chitapur), Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council H K Patil (Gadag), former Union Ministers V Srinivas Prasad (Nanjangud) and M H Ambareesh, MP (Srirangapatna), former Deputy Chief Ministers M P Prakash (Harapanahalli) and Siddaramaiah (Varuna).
Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara), State JD(S) President Mirajuddin Patel (Humnabad), former Minister H D Revanna (Holenarsipur) were prominent candidats from the JD(S), which is contesting in 219 constituencies. The Bahujan Samaj Party had 217 candidates, while CPI(M) and CPI were in the fray in ten and nine constituencies, respectively.
Apart from 136 platoons of KSRP, 30 platoons from other states including Gujarat, Maharashtra and UP, in addition to home guard personnel, have been deployed to ensure a trouble free counting.
Karnataka, which is the first state to go for polls with changed constituencies after the delimitation exercise, would also add another first to its credit when the worldwide web makes a debut in the counting process in the country for instantaneous transmission of results from counting centres to the Election Commission of India.