Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar karnataka
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference regarding the announcement of the schedule for the Karnataka Assembly elections, in New Delhi on Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday announced the schedule for the Karnataka Assembly elections. The polling will be held on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13.

The term of the 224-member Assembly ends on May 24.

As per Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, total electors in Karnataka are 52 million. He informed that the total number of electors above the age of 80 stands at 1.2 million.

Over 917,000 first-time voters will participate in the elections.

Under Advance Application Facility over 125,000 applications were received from those above 17 years, out of which around 41,000 applications were received from youths turning 18 years by April 1, 2023.

The Model Code of Conduct in the state has come into force with the announcement of poll schedule.

CEC Rajiv Kumar said the urban apathy and misuse of money power are the two major issues in the state and appropriate initiatives are being taken in this regard. “We have directed all the enforcement authorities on this,” said the CEC.

The Election Commission (EC) is strengthening its teams to curb the misuse of money power, the CEC said. There will be 2,400 static surveillance teams to keep strict vigil and multiple agencies working in synergy and coordination, he added.

To ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections, the awareness and cooperation of citizens are key. Citizens can report any kind of electoral malpractices to the ECI through cVIGIL App, the CEC added.

BJP, Congress confident of win

Hours after the election commission announced dates for Karnataka assembly elections, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that Bharatiya Janata Party would form the next government in the state “with an absolute majority once again.”

“BJP is ready for Karnataka elections. The party will form the government with an absolute majority once again in the state,” Joshi told ANI.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the party will win the polls and the high command with the opinion of the victorious candidates will decide the chief ministerial face.

Kharge said the Congress is strong in the poll-bound state and senior leaders of the party including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will campaign in the state to add to the strength.

“Our workers have worked at the booth level. We have all possibility of us winning the elections which is why the Prime Minister is sending his cabinet ministers to Karnataka and he himself and the Home Minister is visiting the state,” he said.

EC in no hurry for Wayanad, announces bypolls to 1 LS, 4 Assembly seats
The Election Commission on Wednesday announced the date for the by-election to fill vacancies in one Parliamentary constituency of Punjab and four Assembly constituencies in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya.
However, the poll panel said that it is in no hurry to announce bypoll to the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lower House.
As per the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Rajeev Kumar, bypoll on the selected seats will be held on May 10 and the results will come out on May 13.
However, the poll panel did not announce the bypoll schedule for Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lower House.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has 30 days to exercise judicial remedy in the 2019 defamation case. The CEC said the trial court in Surat has given Rahul Gandhi 30 days to seek a judicial remedy. "There is no hurry, we will wait," he added.
The CEC said the vacancy in the Wayanad parliamentary party was notified on March 23 this year and as per the law, a bypoll has to be conducted within six months.