The Election Commission of India has declared that the voting for the assembly elections in Karnataka will take place on May 10, 2023. The polling will happen in a single phase and the results will be announced on May 13, 2023. 

The state has 224 assembly constituencies, of which 36 are reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes (ST). Karnataka has 5,21,73,579 registered voters, said Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. First-time voters have increased from 2018-19 by 9.17 lakhs in the State.

In the run to the elections, 58,282 polling stations will be set up across Karnataka. Of these, 240 model polling stations will be made eco-friendly and green booths and 100 booths will be managed by persons with disability. The average number of electors per polling station would be 883.

The Election Commission has also announced that voters who are above the age of 80 and have disabilities can avail Vote-From-Home (VFH) facility. The total number of 80 plus electors is 12.15 lakhs and the number of persons with disabilities (PWDs) has increased to 5.55 lakhs. 

Winning majority stake

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a goal of winning at least 150 of the 224 Assembly seats up for the election in May. Both opposition parties, Congress and the JD(S), have released their initial candidates’ list of 124 and 93 candidates respectively. After the declaration of poll dates, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal announced that AAP too will contest from all seats in Karnataka. 

All the political parties in the state are confident of winning majority seats and forming a government in the state. Tanveer Ahmed, a spokesperson for JDS, told businessline, “Considering what is happening with Congress on the national front and BJP in the state - corruption allegations- we are confident that the people of Karnataka this time will repose their confidence in us. We strongly believe we will be able to win majority seats and form a government and wouldn’t have to consider making alliances.” 

Similarly, BJP spokesperson MG Mahesh said, “We aim to get 51 per cent votes in all booths this time and the goal is to win a minimum of 150 seats. Our past performance in the state and PM Modi’s seven visits in the last three months have built a lot of confidence in our voter base and we are confident of emerging as winners with a majority.” The Aam Aadmi Party does not stand a chance in the southern states as it has been seen that the party hasn’t delivered on its promises, he noted.