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Business News/ News / India/  Karnataka election 2023: Vote timings, key constituencies, candidates, other details
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Karnataka election 2023: Vote timings, key constituencies, candidates, other details

Karnataka Assembly election 2023: There are 224 seats in the House and the winning side needs to secure at least 113 seats

Karnataka polls 2023: BJP supporters attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public meeting (Narendra Modi Twitter)Premium
Karnataka polls 2023: BJP supporters attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public meeting (Narendra Modi Twitter)

Curtains came down on the high decibel campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly polls Monday evening, setting the stage for the mega ballot battle on May 10.

With the stakes being high this election, the major political parties in contention -- the BJP, Congress, and JD(S) -- and their candidates have made a strong pitch seeking to boost their prospects at the hustings.

The top guns of all the major political parties were on a campaign blitz across the state in the past few days.

While the ruling BJP, riding on the Modi juggernaut, wants to break the 38-year-old jinx and retain its southern citadel, the Congress wants to wrest power to give the party much-needed elbow room and momentum to position itself as the main opposition player in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Also, the JD(S) led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda was seen putting all its might into campaigning, wanting to emerge as "king" and not "Kingmaker", hoping to get the required numbers to form a government on its own.

BJP national leaders have held a total of 206 public meetings and 90 roadshows, while its state leaders have held 231 public meetings and 48 road shows, the party said.

For the Congress, wresting power from the BJP would be a morale booster and the key to reviving its electoral fortunes and strengthening its credentials as the main opposition player against the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

By winning Karnataka, it also wants to give momentum of sorts to its workers to take on the battle-ready election machinery of the BJP later this year in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.

This election is also a prestige battle for the grand old party, with a Kannadiga Kharge, who hails from Kalaburagi district, being at its helm as the national president. The party has set a target of winning 150 seats.

The party has held 99 public meetings and 33 road shows by its top state and central leaders.

Will the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls be a battle of political survival for JD(S) or will the regional party once again emerge as kingmaker, as it did in 2018, in the event of a hung verdict? That is the debate in political circles this time too.

Plagued by desertions and internal rifts, and with the image of being a "family party", Gowda's son Kumaraswamy, has in a way single-handedly managed the JD(S) campaign across the state, with his aging father taking the back seat.

Kumaraswamy has, by and large, focused his campaign on a five-fold programme called ‘Pancharatna’ that the JD(S) plans to implement upon coming to power. It includes quality education, health care, housing, farmer welfare, and employment.

Though the 89-year-old Deve Gowda initially stayed away from campaigning due to age-related ailments, he has been travelling and campaigning for JD(S) candidates in the past couple of weeks, especially in the party bastion of Old Mysuru region, making an emotional pitch, and countering the Congress's and BJP's attacks against his party.

Karnataka election assembly seats

There are 224 seats in the House and the winning side needs to secure at least 113 seats.

Karnataka Assembly election: Key Constituencies

Shiggaon: Karnataka's incumbent Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is contesting from the Shiggaon constituency. Bommai has won from here three consectutive times--2008, 2013, and in 2018, respectively. In 2018, Bommai won the seat against Congress' Sayed Azeempeer Khadari with a margin of over 9,000 votes.

Varuna: the Varuna constituency in Chamarajnagar district is being watched closely. The seat has been a bastion for former chief minister Siddaramaiah and his family. The Congress leader won from Varuna in 2008 and 2013, and his son Yathindra won this assembly seat in 2018.

Kanakapura: This constituency comes under Bengaluru (Rural) Lok Sabha seat. It is the home turf of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and Vokkaliga strongman DK Shivakumar. DK has won this constituency since 2008 In 2018, Shivakumar won the seat by defeating Narayana Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular) with a margin of 79909 votes.

This time, Shivakumar will be facing revenue minister and BJP leader R Ashoka.

Channapatna: This political hot seat will witness a battle among JD(S) leader and two-time Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, BJP candidate CP Yogeshwar and Congress' Gangadhar S.

Both Yogeshwara and Kumaraswamy belong to the dominant Vokkaliga community in the region and had links to the film industry.

In 20018, Kumaraswamy won this seat against Yogeshwara by 21,530 votes.

Shikaripura: It is the sole constituency in Karnataka where BJP has won consistently-losing only twice since 1983 when the party contested the Karnataka Assembly election for the first time after its founding.

The BJP has fielded party veteran and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's son BY Vijayendra from the Shikaripura constituency in Shivamogga.

Ramanagara: Former Karnataka CHhief Minister HD Deve Gowda's grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy is testing the waters from Ramanagara following his disastrous debut in politics in 2019. In the bastion of Gowda's family, the 35-year-old Nikhil Kumaraswamy is being challenged by Congress veteran HA Iqbal Hussain and BJP's Gowtham Gowda.

Karnataka polls 2023: Vote-base and demography

Congress' vote base is spread evenly across the state, the BJP's is pronounced in the north and central regions due to the concentration of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the belt, which forms its major vote bank. JD(S) dominates the Vokkaliga bastion of the Old Mysuru (southern Karnataka) region. Of Karnataka's population, Lingayats constitute about 17%, Vokkaligas 15%, OBCs 35%, SC/STs 18%, Muslims about 12.92% and Brahmins about 3%. The BJP has set a target of winning at least 150 seats to ensure an absolute majority. It wants to avoid a 2018-like situation, when it had initially lost out on forming government despite emerging as the single largest party, and had to depend on defections of Congress and JD(S) MLAs to establish its administration later.

Lingayats are a politically dominant community and are said to be a dominant force in about 100 seats. In the outgoing assembly, there are 54 Lingayat MLAs across parties including 37 from the ruling BJP. Among the 23 chief ministers from the state since 1952, as many as 10 have been Lingayats.

Karnataka election: Polling stations, voters count, other details

As many as 58,282 polling stations will be set up in the state. The average voter per polling station is pegged at 883. A total of 1,320 polling stations will be managed by women officials.

Among the over 5,24 crore voters, over 5.60 lakh have been identified as persons with disability.

About Karnataka's elections history:

No political party has won a successive mandate in the state since 1985. It remains to be seen whether the ruling BJP will buck a four-decade-old trend to script history or if the Congress upstages its saffron rival to up its stakes as a challenger ahead of the 2024 parliamentary polls.

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Updated: 10 May 2023, 06:56 AM IST
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