Polling for the high-stakes Karnataka assembly elections got underway this morning under a thick security blanket. In what is projected as a tight race, voting is being held in 222 out of 224 seats in a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, the BJP and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's JD(S). About 11 percent polling was today recorded in the first two hours of voting in Karnataka.
Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray-- more than 2400 men and 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 male voters, 2,50,09,904 female and 5,055 transgender voters.
Some interesting facts on voting day
Musquitos bite voters in Mahadevapura: Enraged over mosquitoes biting them, voters in three booths in Bengaluru's Madevapura Assembly seat curse Election Commission for not taking precautionary measures.
Vaastu Shastra: G T Deve Gowda's wife asks election officials to shift EVM machine in Chamundeshwari constituency citing vaastu. Gowda the sitting MLA is taking on CM, Siddaramaiah.
No party has won second successive term: No party in Karnataka has won a second successive term in office since 1985 when the Janata Dal under Ramakrishna Hegde had retained power.
BJP worker arrested in Hebbala constituency: The police arrested a BJP worker at Hebbala Assembly seat for "threatening" voters not to vote before local BJP MLA Narayanaswamy cast his vote, delaying the voting by 10 minutes.
Shortage of public transport inconveniences voters: Nearly 2,000 passengers were reported to be stranded at Kempegowda bus station on Friday evening in Bengaluru as state buses were deployed for election duty.
4 Chief Miniter's candidates contesting polls: One among the interesting aspects of this election is four candidates who have served as chief minister of Karnataka are in the fray - current incumbent Siddaramaiah (Chamundeshwari and Badami), B.S. Yeddyurappa (Shikaripura), H.D. Kumaraswamy (Chennapatna and Ramanagara) and Jagadish Shettar (Hubli-Dharwad Central.)
Red alert constituencies: 56
These constituencies are termed so as they have three or more candidates with criminal charges. Kolar and Koppal have as many as six candidates each with criminal cases against them.
Richest candidates: Congress's Priyakrishna, from Govindarajanagar constituency, with Rs. 1,020 crore worth total assets
Congress's N Nagaraju, from Hosakote constituency with assets valued at Rs. 1,015 crore
Congress's State Energy Minister DK Shivakumar, from Kanakapura constituency, with Rs. 840 crore assets
Highest number of candidates:
Lowest number of candidates:
Number of candidates in the above 80 years age group: 5
87-year-old Kagodu Thimmappa, the Congress candidate from Sagar constituency, is the oldest candidate to be contesting these elections.
26-year-old Aswini S, the BJP candidate from Kolar Gold Field constituency, is the youngest candidate.