The state of Karnataka has been gearing up for the Assembly elections for a while now, and the day of reckoning finally arrived on May 10th, 2023. Voting began early in the morning, and people from all walks of life made their way to the polling stations to cast their vote. The Election Commission of India had stated that the majority mark required to form the government is 113 seats, and with 2,615 candidates in the fray, the stakes were high.
The BJP had made a strong bid for the state, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself campaigning extensively in the state. The Congress, too, had put up a strong fight, and both parties had released their manifestos a week ahead of the elections, promising various benefits to the people of the state.
The election saw high voter turnout, with several celebrities also casting their votes. Kannada actor Rishab Shetty came dressed in traditional attire to cast his vote, while Prakash Raj urged voters to “vote against communal politics.” The elderly and first-time voters also turned up in large numbers, with over 11 lakh first-time voters eligible to cast their vote.
However, the election was not without its share of controversies. Villagers in Masabinala in Vijayapura district stopped a poll duty vehicle carrying electronic voting machines and manhandled an officer, damaging control and ballot units in the process. The Election Commission arrested 23 people in connection with the incident.
The ruling BJP is hoping to break the 38-year jinx and retain power in the state, while the Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP and position itself as the main opposition player in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The counting of the votes will take place on May 13th, and the results will decide the future of the state for the next five years.