The Election Commission of India has announced the poll dates for the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls. Speaking to reporters, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that the polls will be conducted in single phase on 12 May.
Date of notification will be 17 April 2018 with the last date of nomination being 24 April. The counting will take place on 15 May.
Rawat said that strict action will be taken against the BJP’s social media head Amit Malviya for wrongly posting the dates of Karnataka elections even before the EC had announced the same.
Under intense pressure from the social media users, Malviya had deleted his tweet. Although he blamed Times Now for being the source, nowhere in his tweet had he attributed his information to the English news channel.
The results of this crucial south Indian state, where the Congress has been in power, could set the political narrative for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP has been desperately trying to unseat Siddaramaiah government with the Congress accusing the saffron party of resorting to communal politics. This is the only state in south India, where the BJP has been in power in the past. However, the party was voted out following corruption allegations against BS Yeddyurappa, who is the BJP’s chief ministerial face this time around too.
The term of Karnataka’s 224-seat assembly comes to an end on 28 May and the new government must be in place before that.
It’s important for the Congress to retain Karnataka since it’s one of the few states, where the party is in power. Punjab, Puducherry and Mizoram are the other remaining states, where Congress has its governments.
Victory here for the Congress could act as the revival of the party ahead of the key assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, scheduled for later this year.