It’s testing time again for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with Karnataka Assembly to go on polls on May 12, to be followed by elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year.
The Lok Sabha elections are still one year from now, but the assembly polls across states are definitely give a clear picture of the emerging political colours.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the Karnataka assembly election:
1. The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday (Mar 27) announced the Karnataka assembly polls will be held on May 12. Counting of votes is scheduled for May 15.
2. A controversy emerged when BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted the poll date, even before chief election commissioner OP Rawat could reveal it at the ongoing press conference. He, however, termed the incident as “a very serious issue” and assured administrative action.
3. The notification for the election to the 224-member Karnataka assembly will be issued on April 17.
4. The last date for filing nomination is April 24 and the last date for withdrawal candidature is April 27.
5. All Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be linked to Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
6. The main two opposition parties – BJP (43 seats) and Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] (30 seats), along with their allies, will be locking horns with the incumbent Indian National Congress (123 seats). Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be making its political debut in Karnataka.
7. The Karnataka assembly election will also decide whether Siddaramaiah will continue as the state chief minister, or he will be succeeded by BJP’s B. S. Yeddyurappa or H. D. Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal (Secular).
8. As per a pre-poll survey by C-Fore, Congress will return to power with a stronger vote percentage. It predicts Congress will get 46% of votes, with BJP and JD(S) expected to secure 31% and 16% of total votes respectively.
9. Another survey by poll agency CHS predicts that Congress might end up with 77-81 seats, BJP with 73-76 seats and JD(S) with 64-66 seats.
10. The present tenure of the Karnataka assembly ends on May 28.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.