Bengaluru: After a high octane campaigning that lasted for weeks, over five crore people in Karnataka will decide on who will form the next government in the state.
Voting for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 for 222 seats began at 7 am and will be on till 6 pm.
The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka faces a tough challenge from the BJP which is hoping to return to power in the state.
Karnataka is the only southern state where BJP has been in power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over 20 public meetings in the last ten days of campaigning for the BJP whose chief ministerial candidate is BS Yeddyurappa.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi toured across the state and interacted with voters from all walks of life.
The war of words between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi often got bitter and personal, especially during the last leg of campaigning.
Just hours before the Karnataka Assembly election, the Election Commission on Friday deferred voting in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) constituency, where nearly 10,000 voter ID cards were found in a flat, to May 28.
Voting for another constituency in Bengaluru was postponed due to the death of the BJP candidate and the sitting legislator.
The votes will be counted for 222 of the 224 seats on May 15.
Opinion polls have predicted that neither the Congress, nor the BJP will get majority Karnataka and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular) will be the kingmaker.
Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray -- more than 2,400 men 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 are male voters, 2,50,09,904 females and 5,055 transgender voters.
Officials said 58,008 polling stations have been set up across the state, of which 12,002 have been designated as "critical", with over 3,50,000 polling personnel on duty.
Here are updates on Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 voting day:
08:45 pm: Re-polling to take place in Hebbal assembly constituency's polling station number 2 on May 14 after polling was stopped there due to EVM failure: Sanjeev Kumar, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer
06:52 pm: Total turnout figure received so far is 70 per cent: Election Commission
06:40 pm: Except few polling stations, where people are still standing in queue and voting, polling has been completed in almost all polling stations: Election Commission
05:45 pm: 61.25 per cent voter turnout recorded till 5 pm in Karnataka
05:40 pm: Re-polling to take place in Hebbal assembly constituency's polling station number 2 after voting was stopped due to EVM failure
04:20 pm: Rain lashed parts of Hubbali affecting voting, voters take shelter at polling station 185
03:25 pm: Voter turnout in Kalaburgi affected as temperature hits 43 degree Celsius. Locals say, "In the morning, there was a rush at the booths. However, there is hardly any crowd now as the temperature is quite high. Right now, it is more than 40 degrees"
03:10 pm: 56 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in Karnataka
02:45 pm: Former foreign minister and BJP leader SM Krishna casts his vote in a polling booth in Bengaluru
02:25 pm: Voters queued up at a polling booth in Dharwad's Navalgund
02:13 pm: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah casts his vote in Chamundeshwari. He is contesting from Chamundeshwari and Badami constituencies
02:04 pm: 37 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in the state till 1 pm
01:23 pm: Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar in queue to cast his vote at polling booth number 240 in Kanakapura
01:04 pm: Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde casts his vote at a polling booth in Bengaluru. "Over the years, I feel that malpractices have increased. Distribution of sarees. alcohol, dhotis and cookers have come out in open. It is not a good sign in democracy," Hegde said
01:00 pm: "It is a sensitive polling booth and the clash between BJP and Congress workers happened within 100 meters of the booth. We will investigate and take further action," Ravi Channannavar, Bengaluru DCP said
12:57 pm: Clashes broke out between Congress and BJP workers outside a polling booth in Hampi Nagar, Bengaluru after Congress workers allegedly thrashed a BJP corporator. Ravindra, Vijayanagar BJP candidate says, 'Our corporator Anand was attacked but police isn't taking any action'
12:52 pm: Woman stopped from entering polling both in Belagavi as she was reluctant to remove her 'burqa' for identification; she was later allowed when a woman official identified her inside a cubicle
12:48 pm: 87-year-old wheelchair-borne woman came to cast her vote at booth number 150 in Shimoga
12:45 pm: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde in queue to cast his vote in Karnataka's Sirsi
12:32 pm: Right before her wedding, a bride casts her vote at polling booth number 131 in Madikeri
12:30 pm: 'Yeddyurappa is mentally disturbed. Congress will get more than 120 seats. I am very confident,' says Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
12:25 pm: In Dharwad, BJP workers staged protest outside booth number 58 in Karadigudda, alleging that polling staff at the booth were asking people to vote for Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni. Election Commission officials are present at the spot
12:21 pm: BJP's B Sriramalu casts his vote in Bellary
12:03 pm: Young voters outside a polling booth in Sadashiv Nagar
11:52 am: Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Matha casts his vote in Tumakuru
11:49 am: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge casts his vote in Basavanagar, polling booth number 108, in Kalaburagi
11:46 am: "I have been visiting villages in the constituency for last 1 and half years. Election campaigning didn't feel any different. Wherever I went, people expressed confidence in Congress government, says Dr Yatheendra, Congress candidate from Varuna constituency and son of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
11:28 am: JDS's HD Kumaraswamy and wife Anitha cast their vote in Ramanagara. Kumaraswamy says, 'We are confident that JDS will cross the magic number on its own'
11:15 am: 24 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 am in Karnataka
10:55 am: Sri Sri Ravishankar casts his vote at a polling booth in Kanakapura
10:23 am: A differently abled person arrives to vote at a polling booth in Badami
09:42 am: Moorusavir Math's Gurusidda Rajayogindra Mahaswami casts his vote in Hubli
09:39 am: HD Deve Gowda's wife Chennamma Deve Gowda, son HD Revanna and other family members also cast their votes in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district
09:33 am: Mysuru's erstwhile royal Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar casts his vote in Mysuru
09:27 am: 10.6 per cent voting till 9 am has been recorded in Karnataka, reports news agency ANI
09:21: Karnataka minister KJ George cast his vote in Bengaluru. He is contesting from Sarvagnanagar constituency
09:12 am: 'We expect a possibility of forming the government, we have done well," says HD Deve Gowda
09:05 am: Former prime minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda casts his vote at polling booth number 244 in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district
08:50 am: JDS state chief HD Kumaraswamy meets Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswami of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Jayanagar
08:40 am: "Today People of Karnataka are standing in queues to create history & show the nation the way to liberal, progressive, peaceful & compassionate politics & governance. I thank them for their support & wish them well," Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweets
08:33 am: BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru's Koramangala
08:16 am: BJP's B Sriramalu performed 'gau pooja' (cow worship) before casting his vote in Bellary. He is contesting against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Badami constituency
08:10 am: Most parts of Karnataka could continue to have light to moderate rainfall accompanied by gusty winds, the weather department has said in its forecast for the state. Officials suggest it would be best for the voters to get out early
07:56 am: A glitch in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine in Hubbali is being reported by news agency ANI. The machine at booth number 108 being replaced, voting is yet to be resumed
07:30 am: A woman waits in queue at polling booth number 172 in BTM constituency, with her dog in tow
07:20 am: People queue up at polling booth number 144 in Badami constituency. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP's B Sriramulu from here
07:19 am: People in Bengaluru cast their votes at a polling booth in Dommasandra B Munireddy School, located in BTM constituency
07:15 am: Early voters have started queuing up outside a polling booth in Puttur
07:11 am: BS Yeddyurappa has won the Shikaripura seat in Shivamogga district of Karnataka seven of the eight times since he first contested there 35 years ago. The only time he lost the constituency to the Congress was in 1999
07:10 am: “People are fed up with the Siddaramaiah government. I urge the people to come out and vote for BJP. I assure the people of Karnataka that I'm going to give good governance,” says Karnataka BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa
07:08 am: Union Minister, BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda casts his vote in Puttur
07:06 am: BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts his vote in Shikarpur, Shimoga
07:03 am: BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa arrives at a polling booth in Shikaripura, Shimoga to vote. According to reports, BS Yeddyurappa was seen offering prayers and performing a puja before stepping out to the polling booth
07:00 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged voters in Karnataka to come out in large numbers and cast their votes. On his Twitter PM Modi said, "Urging my sisters and brothers of Karnataka to vote in large numbers today. I would particularly like to call upon young voters to vote and enrich this festival of democracy with their participation."
06:45 am: High security has been put in place ahead of voting. There will be 10,500 police personnel deployed in Bengaluru city limits during the voting hours today. In addition, there will be staff from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and other units
06:30 am: The BJP is contesting in 223 of the 224 seats, the Congress in 221. The JD(S)-BSP combine is contesting in 218 seats. 180 settling legislators are contesting. 1,142 Independents too are contesting in today's elections....