Karnataka Poll Date Leak: EC Sets up Probe, Report in a Week

"Shah had stated at Shivamogga on March 26 that he (Siddaramaiah) should look at how the Karnataka government is dividing Hindus and Lingayats, let alone other religions". The Congress is fighting to retain control of the only large state it is in power now while the BJP is looking to make inroads into the south. Five poll officials will be deputed at each polling station as against four in the previous elections, as the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) is being introduced this year, he said. In 2013, C-Fore had predicted that the Congress would end up winning 119-120 seats and it ended up with 122.

Soon after the tweet controversy, a BJP-delegation led by Union Minister MA Naqvi met the EC to discuss the allegations. Other than BJP and Congress, JD (S) will also be competing the polls. The saffron party received 19.9% of the votes, while the Congress took 36.6% of the popular vote. The JD (S) may end up with 25 seats and is likely to play kingmaker.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi with Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah visits Thenka Yermal village in Udupi.

Congress has now picked up on the tweet of the BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya announcing Karnataka poll schedule prior to that of Election Commission.

"Appeasement policies, which are the country's biggest enemies are the culture of the Congress, as evident from the religious minority status the ruling party in Karnataka had given to Lingayts ahead of the state assembly election", Shah told reporters here, about 260km from Bengaluru. Congress in-charge communications Randeep Surjewala said, "The BJP becomes the "Super Election Commission" as they announce poll dates for Karnataka even before the EC".

This tweets triggered a row, with many questioning the authority of the Election Commission. Elections to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will be held in a single phase on May 12 while counting would take place on May 15. "We are election ready!"

The anti-incumbency factor, however, is not very substantial, Parameshwara said.

The dates for Karnataka Assembly polls have just been announced.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress Leader and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee also accused the BJP-led NDA government of "using and misusing" all agencies, including the Election Commission.

"Recently, a retired Supreme Court judge said if there was ever a competition for the most corrupt government, then the Yeddyurappa government is number one", Shah told the media with Yeddyurappa sitting next to him.

For the BJP, analysts said it will be a test of the Party's claims of pan-India credentials.

"Dear Kannadigas, Our redemption from the tyrannical rule of @siddaramaiah is not far".

The young voter ratio had increased from 1.16 per cent to 2.20 per cent.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Naqvi said that they clarified their stand.

  • Joanne Flowers