The Election Commission has announced the dates for conducting assembly election in the state of Karnataka today and the polls will be conducted in a single phase on May 12, 2018; also, the result of election will be announced on May 15, 2018.

During the press conference at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi today, the Election Commission made announcement notifying about the dates for the 2018 Karnataka Assembly Elections as the current tenure ends on May 28. For the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the elections are to be held in single phase across the state on May 12 and the counting of votes and announcement of results will be conducted on May 15. The announcement of election dates had landed a controversy as BJP IT Cell head tweeted the dates before the official announcement – into which, the EC will make further investigations.

The Election Commission has also announced that April 24 will be the last date to file nominations and April 27 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature. There are 4.96 crore eligible voters in the state, for whom 56,696 polling stations will be set up – compared to 52,034 in the 2013, indicating a growth of 9% in number of polling booths. The Election Commission will be using VVPAT machines along with EVMs and as per standard process, the matching of EVM output with VVPAT slips at one randomly selected polling station in each constituency will be made to ensure that there was no infringement.

The Karnataka Assembly Elections are a big deal and has been in spotlight as the ruling party Congress has strongholds in the state and hopes to retain power and resist the BJP’s aggressive campaign. For the main Opposition party, winning the elections as imperative in face of its diminishing presence in most assemblies. Since coming to power at the Centre in 2014, the BJP has wrested power from the grand old party in Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Manipur. It is now in power only in two major Indian states: Karnataka and Punjab. On the other hand, it will be an apparent show of overpowering influence for BJP to snatch away one of the last two major assemblies from the Opposition.

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