New Delhi: Karnataka will go to polls on May 12. The election will be held in single phase. Counting of votes will be held on May 15.
The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately, the Election Commission of India said.
April 17 is the date of the issue of notification, last date of filing nomination is April 24, while the Election Commission has set April 27 as the last date of withdrawal of nomination.
When asked on how BJP's IT cell head Amit Malviya had put the dates of Karnataka elections on social media, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Om Prakash Rawat said, "Certain things may have leaked for which Election Commission will take appropriate action."
The CEC added, "It will be investigated. Be assured that actions legally and administratively befitting will be taken."
The CEC said voting guide will be provided to every family.
The commission has decided to press in adequate Central security force in the state to keep vigil on the any untoward incident in Karnataka and violence in the poll bound state.
Karnataka is one of the few states where the Congress is in power. It is also the only state in south India where the BJP had been able to form a government.
The high octane campaign for the elections has witnessed both the top parties alleging each other of communal politics and political murders as well as tit-for-tat charges of large-scale corruption.
The tenure of the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly expires on May 28 and before that, the new house has to be constituted.
Incumbent Siddaramaiah-led Congress government is eyeing a second term in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in 20 states, is trying to expand in the 21st state. BJP's chief ministerial candidate is BS Yeddyurappa. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) is the third party in the fray.
In 2013, the Congress had bagged 122 assembly seats.
The results in Karnataka, considered to be the gateway to south India for any political party, will be closely watched ahead of the general election due in 2019.
Since BJP came to power in the Centre in 2014, it has taken states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Assam and Manipur from the Congress. The BJP also bagged India's most politically important and largest state Uttar Pradesh in 2017 and in March 2018 it has rooted out the 25-year Left rule in Tripura.
The ruling party in Karnataka, Congress, faces a tough challenge from the BJP, which launched its election campaign in November.
The BJP spent 85 days campaigning across the state and organised a rally in Bengaluru addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP has decided to pitch BS Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate.
In 2014, the BJP won 17 of its 20 seats in southern states just in Karnataka, getting massive support from the urban centres like Bengaluru and Mysuru....