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Karnataka Election 2018: 70% voter turnout recorded till 6 pm



Bengaluru, May 12: Amid tight security and heightened vigil, the high-stakes Karnataka Assembly elections saw a 70 percent voter turnout till 6 pm on Saturday, said the Election Commission.

During the early hour of voting, there were reports of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioning in some booths; power crisis in a polling station in Rajajinagar seat; voters names missing at few booths and women clad in burqa made to reveal their faces at a Belagavi polling booth — that caused few hiccups.

Till 6  pm, 70 % voting took place said the poll panel, according to ANI report.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha claimed that the figure is likely to increase, as polling is still underway in some areas.

“Except few polling stations, where people are still standing in line to vote, polling has been completed in almost all polling stations. As of now, the total turnout figure received is 70 percent. However, we expect this number to increase, and hope it surpasses that of the previous elections,” he said.

“Peaceful polling is being held in 222 of the 224 constituencies, including 36 segments reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC), 15 for Scheduled Tribes (ST) under tight security,” an official told IANS here.

Voting in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari Nagar segment has been postponed to May 28 over fake voter ID cards row and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat following the demise of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.

As per the reports, the southern state has more than 5.07-crore electorate, including 2.62-crore men and 2.5-crore women.

A total of 2,654 candidates are in the fray. Over 15 lakh people are first-time voters in the 18-19 age group.

Voting is taking place in 58,008 polling stations of 30 districts across Karnataka, out of which 600 of them are pink booths, manned by all-women personnel, and 28 ethnic booths.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded 223 candidates, while the ruling Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have fielded 222 and 201 seats respectively.

Updates :

Till 6  pm, 70 % voting took place

Re-polling to be held in Hebbal assembly constituency

Re-polling to take place in Hebbal assembly constituency’s Polling Station Number 2 after polling was stopped due to EVM failure, news agency ANI reported.

Polling booth No.s 142, 143 and 144 in Tippu Nagar saw less turnout of voters

Polling booth No.s 142, 143 and 144 in Tippu Nagar witness less turnout of voters. Locals say, ‘turnout is low as many residents are out of the district due to lack of employment here.

Till 5 pm, 61. 25 % voting took place

Till 3 pm, 56% voting took place

Karnataka CM hits out at BJP President Amit Shah

“This Amit Shah is like a comedy show and Narendra Modi’s image has drastically declined, his speeches are completely hollow and have made no impact on the voters of Karnataka. Therefore we are not worried”, said Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.

Groom Mallikarjun Gamangatti and bride Nikhita Jodi votes 

Former Foreign Minister and BJP leader SM Krishna casts his vote

Visuals of voters from Dharwad

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah casts vote in Chamundeshwari

37% voter turnout till 1 pm

BJP’s B.Sriramalu casts vote in Bellary

Visuals of Voters outside a polling booth in Sadashiv Nagar

Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Matha casts vote in Tumakuru

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge casts  vote in Basavanagar

People expressed confidence in Congress government says, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s Son Dr Yatheendra

Dr Yatheendra, a Congress candidate from Varuna constituency and son of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, said ” I have been visiting villages in the constituency for last 1 and half years. Election campaigning didn’t feel any different. Wherever I went, people expressed confidence in Congress government.

Congress’ Ashok Gehlot takes a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Congress leader Ashok Gehlot took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying “As there is model code of conduct in Karnataka, PM Modi planned to pray at temples in Nepal instead, just to influence voters.This is not a good trend for democracy.

“Why did he only choose today as the day?”, he asked.

HD Kumaraswamy, wife Anitha caste their vote

24% voter turnout recorded till 11 am

BJP will not win more than 60-70 seats, says Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge

We are confident. BJP will not win more than 60-70 seats maximum, forget getting 150. They are just dreaming of forming the Government, said Congress leader  Mallikarjun Kharge.

Mysuru’s erstwhile royal Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar casts his vote

10.6% voting took place till 9 am

Karnataka Minister KJ George cast his vote in Bengaluru

Former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda casts his vote in Hassan’s Holenarasipura town

Visuals of voters from Ramnagar

Faulty Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine replaced in Hubbali booth, voting yet to resume

Visuals from booth number 172 in BTM constituency

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tells Karnataka to embrace festival of democracy

Taking to Twitter, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Karnataka should embrace the greatest festival of democracy by voting.

Welcoming the first time voters, he stated that the high voter turnout is a sign of dynamic democracy. His message today was in Kannada.

Visuals from booth number 159-159 in Gulbarga South

People queue up at polling booth number 144 in Badami constituency, where CM Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP’s B.Sriramulu

People votes at a polling booth in Dommasandra B Munireddy School, BTM constituency

Voters arrive to cast their vote in Puttur

PM Modi calls on youth to ‘enrich festival of democracy’

“Urging my sisters and brothers of Karnataka to vote in large numbers today. I would particularly like to call upon young voters to vote and enrich this festival of democracy with their participation”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Union Minister, BJP leader Sadananda Gowda votes 

BJP Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts votes



‘Operation Shakti’ in the vanguard of Congress march to LS polls




New Delhi, Jan 21 : To understand what was at the core of Operation Shakti, IANS caught up with its centrifuge Praveen Chakravarty to understand what the Congress was attempting for the BJP had them on the run till recently.

As he says, “I was quite sanguine initially on this whole metamorphosis but when I saw the Congress President calling a worker by name and talking to him and the response that he was getting, I realised that the wisdom of the crowds could not be faulted, involve the people in everything which is the real offshoot of true democracy or peoplecracy.

“That is how 30,000 people were surveyed in Delhi to find out who should be Congress President for Delhi.

“In fact every candidate was selected in the three north and middle India states using this interface, including the Chief Ministers. The template being ‘Wisdom of the Crowds’, a seminal book by James Surowiecki, New Yorker business columnist with boundless erudition explores the simple idea of large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant and better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions and even predicting the future.

“Data is available, my experience and expertise as a political scientist helped and one found over a six month period that data is pure gold and that is what one needed to plug and play into.”

Apparently, the Congress President is an extraordinary believer in the objectivity of data and the primacy of this being the gold standard to crack the election code.

Chakravarty, a former Goldman Sachs Wall Street banker — who worked with Nandan Nilekani in the past in UIDAI and then in Manmohan Singh’s PMO — the Wharton-educated data scientist known as ‘Chucky’ says, “We have learned a lot from these state elections — what worked, what didn’t — and have started transposing this learning for the Lok Sabha elections.

“Plans are now afoot to craft our campaign accordingly, this is work in progress and it it will be done after collecting ground zero feedback from multiple locations.

“It will be ground up in terms of choice of candidate, mediums of communication, issues at hand, the whole ball of wax. All my output goes directly to the Congress President only. He then gives direction on the way forward.”

The battle of 2019 will be fought across 2,00,000 polling booths and the issues will vary from place to place.

For instance in the state elections, just to give a flavour, the Congress found that landless farmers and youth were livid over in DeMo in Bhopal. Upper caste wanted reservation somewhere else etc.

Chucky studied at BITS Pilani and worked with IBM in Japan and at Microsoft on Windows 95 and did his Masters from Wharton before plunging into the high jinks world of investment banking only to move back to India in 2005.

His belief is that there is no general election in India, it is a sum of parts as 29 states go to the polls at the same time.

As he added, “National election is a myth. Our approach is to attack each state differently for every state has myriad problems. Our incessant surveys and people inputs have shown us that Notebandi resulted in a scarcity of jobs, it transcended across class, gender, economic strata. It’s overnight announcement in that it became law as of midnight November 8, broke the back of the people in this country.”

The Congress is buoyant on its Gabbar Singh Tax stratagem which it claims has worked. They will take on an incumbent in Narendra Modi but a defiant Prime Minister whose people connect skills are unquestionable. Somewhere in this convoluted narrative, the Congress is expected to focus on the economy for it reckons that the economy is resembling a shipwreck.

At the vanguard of the Congress electioneering campaign will be “scarcity of jobs, pricing erosion for farmers, ever-lowering demand for MSMES, another casualty of ‘notebandi’, which will bring the focus back on the economy and how it is hurting people of all hues”.

Chucky also confirmed that another imperative was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which worked consistently with the voter as the GOP tried to pinpoint areas of economic weakness which included the emasculation of the venerable institution.

The Congress morale is upbeat as if it has been given an adrenaline shot, winning helps and three states are like ‘sone pe suhaga’. New elements have been introduced in the Congress campaign, there is freshness in its approach in the main people connect.

The BJP won 62 out of 65 LS seats in the 2014 general elections in Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh. Empirical data from these state polls reveals that they have lost 50 of these if LS polls were to take place today. Of course, state polls, by polls and general hustings are fought on different issues.

In parallel with the general elections, three important states will go to the polls — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and possibly Jammu and Kashmir.

Immediately after the national polls, Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand will go to polls.

The Congress won 206 seats in the 2009 polls to romp home as the single largest party, but by December 2013, after various state polls, the total had been reduced to 106 if one was to collate assembly poll data.

So, if the Congress ended up with 44 in May 2014, it was no surprise, for the erosion was rapid and severe. Not a similar litmus test awaits the BJP besieged by incumbency.

(The first part of the story was carried on Sunday by IANS)

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Congress, opposition doing negative politics over EVMs sensing defeat in 2019 elections: BJP

His remarks came soon after a person named Syed Suja, who claimed that he was part of the team which designed EVMs in India.



New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Accusing the Congress and other opposition parties of indulging in ‘negative politics’ over the electreonic voting machines (EVMs), the BJP on Monday hit out at them, saying that sensing defeat in the coming elections, they have started spreading such rumours.

“There are a few powers behind the hacking, which has hacked the brain of Congress and Congress is working with that mindset,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters here.

His remarks came soon after a person named Syed Suja, who claimed that he was part of the team which designed EVMs in India.

Defending the EVMs, Naqvi said the Election Commission (EC) has number of times asked the political parties to approach it and give evidence over the issue of hacking EVMs. “But they never approached the Commission,” Naqvi said.

“Before elections they (opposition) have started blaming EVMs as they have realised their defeat in the coming elections. They have realised the mood of the people and nation ahead of elections,” he said.

“Congress and a few of its friends are doing negative politics over EVMs,” he alleged.

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EC rejects claims of EVMs rigging in 2014, says its examining legal action



Election Commission

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The Election Commission on Monday firmly rejected claims by a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja that the 2014 elections were rigged, saying it was examining legal action over the “motivated slugfest”.

Soon after Shuja claimed that the 2014 elections were rigged, the Election Commission in statement said, “It has come to the notice of Election Commission that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by EC can be tampered with, has been organised in London.”

“Whereas, ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest, ECI firmly stands by the empirical facts about foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India,” it said.

The Commission said that it needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions.

“And there are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a Committee of eminent technical experts constituted way back in 2010,” it said.

“It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter,” the Commission added.


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