May 15 – Litmus Test For Narendra Modi!

The wait is over. The much-awaited Karnataka Assembly polls will be held on May 12th and the votes will be counted on May 15th, the Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat announced on Tuesday. It is going to be a single phase election for the 224-member assembly, like the last time.

The notification for the polls will be issued on April 17th and the last date for filing of nomination will be April 24th, the CEC Rawat said at a press conference. April 27 will be the last date of withdrawal of candidates, he added.

All electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be linked to Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, he said.To questions from reporters about the polling date being leaked even before he made the official announcement, Rawat said the poll panel will investigate the matter and take stringent legal and administrative action.

The polls are being seen as politically crucial for Karnataka’s ruling Congress as well as the BJP. It is the only big state where the Congress is in power after losing a string of assembly elections to the saffron party over the last few years.

The BJP is making a concerted bid to unseat the ruling Congress led by Siddaramaiah. The JD(S), led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and his son, former CM Kumara Swamy Gowda, is the third player in the fray.