The mega Karnataka Assembly Elections, post aggressive campaigning by all the leading parties, saw a voter turnout of 65.69 per cent as of 5 pm, according to Election Commission (EC) provisional final estimates. The intense voting session in the State was largely peaceful barring a few minor incidents of violence. As the polling ends, political leaders of all the parties hope to win majority seats in the state. 

The State saw citizens come out and vote with enthusiasm. The Melukote assembly constituency saw the highest voter turnout at 84.3 per cent and Kunigal, too, cut close with 81 per cent turnout. The lowest voter turnout was seen in Bommanahalli at 45.5 per cent, Vijaynagar at 45.6 per cent and Dasarahalli at 47.42 per cent all in Bengaluru district.

Also read: Karnataka elections: Exit polls hint at a hung assembly, with an edge to Congress

The urban voter apathy in Bengaluru continues this election season as well. Bengaluru Urban recorded a voter turnout of 52.19 per cent. BBMP(Central) turnout stood at 50.10 per cent and BBMP(North) turnout stood at 50.02 per cent. Bengaluru has had a low voter turnout in the last election as well, as it stood at 55 per cent in 2018. 

Theme-based polling stations

In order to increase voter turnout, Bengaluru this time, also had 264  theme-based polling stations in the city. The themes were health, youth, culture, pink, transgender, millet, and go-green among others.

The polling session that began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm will decide the fate of 2615 candidates that contested. Karnataka, for its 224 assembly constituencies had 5,31,33,054 electors, of which 9.17 lakh were first-time voters. The results will be announced on May13.

The voting day saw a mix of citizens, from wise senior citizens, enthusiastic first-timers, brides and grooms, and differently abled, all came out and exercise their voting right. Caste, religion, unemployment, corruption, and inflation control among others were the popular electoral issues on the basis of which voters made a decision this time. 

While the voting session throughout the day was mostly peaceful, some incidences of violence were reported too. In Masbinal village of Vijayapura district, a number of enraged locals vandalized polling officer cars and destroyed some EVMs and VVPATs in response to rumours that the officials were changing the EVMs and VVPATs. 

Also read: Karnataka elections: Minor incidents of violence, EVM destruction, protests mar polling

The situation got heated up in Congress leader Siddaramaih’s Varuna constituency too as Congress and BJP and Congress workers engaged in slogan shouting and fisticuffs. Similarly, BJP and Congress workers landed a few punches on each other in Sanjeevrayanakote village in Bellary district. In between the fight, Congress leader Umesh Gowda suffered a head injury. 

Parties confident of winning

The leaders of contender trifecta Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), Congress, and Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) are confident of winning with majority seats. Current Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai earlier in the day told a news agency that he is “100 per cent confident” that his party (BJP) will win with a comfortable majority and return to power. He even rubbished the corruption charges against his party. 

CM seat aspirant from the Congress, KPCC President DK Shivakaumar also oozed confidence. He said that he is confident that the citizens of the state will vote for a progressive state and remove the current “corrupt government” and elect Congress.