Second Round of polling on 14 Parliamentary seats in Karnataka begins tomorrow.
Voting for 14 Lok Sabha Constituencies in Karnataka, with 1,621 candidates in the fray, will begin at 6 am on April 18 across half of the 28 Parliamentary constituencies.
The seats going to polls on Thursday in Karnataka are Hassan, Chamarajanagar, Udupi Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Kolar, Bangalore Rural, Chikballapur, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Bangalore Central, Mandya, Mysore, Bangalore South, and Bangalore North.
In the State, prominent candidates include former PM HD Deve Gowda, who is contesting from Tumakuru, his grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna from Mandya and Hassan respectively, and Union Minister Sadananda Gowda from Bengaluru North. Senior Congress leaders K H Muniyappa is contesting from Kolar; and BK Hariprasad from Bengaluru South.
The campaigning for the second phase of polling stopped on Tuesday evening. Although, parties were allowed to campaign door-to-door on Wednesday, April 17, according to a Times of India report on April 16.
In a last-ditch effort to reach out to voters before campaigning, both the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) directed its district units to organise bike rallies and road shows along with holding public meetings in their constituencies. The parties directed its workers to adopt innovative campaigning tools to reach out to voters.
On the last day for campaigning on Tuesday, BJP’s National President Amit Shah campaigned in Devanagere and Tumakuru on Tuesday, requesting people to vote for Modi.
The state will see some closely fought contests in constituencies like Mandya where Sumalatha – widow of former Union Minister Ambreesh – is taking on CM Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil.
Also, in the fray will be political greenhorn and veteran actor Prakash Raj fighting independently from Bengaluru Central, BJP MLA from Basavanagudi Assembly constituency, Ravi Subramanya’s nephew Tejasvi Surya, one of the youngest candidates this Lok Sabha elections.
In the backdrop of intense campaigning from all the political parties, the Income Tax department has been conducting raids at various places.
According to a report in the Times of India on April 17, the Income Tax department had raided various places in Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru and Uttara Kannada districts, hours before the first phase of polling was set to begin.
Under the radar were relatives and aides of various senior leaders like former PM HD Deve Gowda and Union Minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Ananta Kumar Hegde.
The EC also sought action against CM Kumaraswamy who had alleged that state I-T head BR Balakrishnan was acting at the behest of BJP leaders. Replying to the EC’s moves, Kumaraswamy said that he stands by his comments and asked for the I-T head to be transferred.
The IT department has conducted 33 searches across the state since elections were announced. Officials seized cash to the tune of Rs. 18.3 crore cash and jewellery worth Rs. 6.5 crore, the same ToI report said.
According to another report in the Times of India, Rahul Dravid former India cricket captain, who is also the brand ambassador and icon in Karnataka for the Lok Sabha elections, will not be able to vote in the second phase of polling as he failed to submit the Form 6, required to include one’s name in the electoral rolls.
Across the country, prominent candidates across the country from different parties are Dayanidhi Maran (DMK), Kanimozhi (DMK), Karti Chidambaram (Congress), A Raja (DMK), Sushmita Devi (Congress); Jual Oram, Jitendra Singh and Pon Radhakrishnan (BJP) are also in the fray, as reported by The Indian Express.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, Karnataka had sent 17 Members of Parliament from the Bhartiya Janta Party, nine from the Indian National Congress and two from the Janta Dal (Secular) to its 28 Lok Sabha seats.