Agencies: Karnataka will go to polls on May 12 and the counting of votes will take place three days later on May 15, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. The announcement also ran into trouble with reports saying the poll dates were leaked even before the announcement was made. The dates though later proved to be different.
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said the poll panel will investigate the matter and take stringent legal and administrative action. The elections are politically crucial for the ruling Congress led by Siddaramaiah as it is the only big state where the Grand Old Party is in power after losing a string of polls to the BJP in the last few years. Besides, the Congress and BJP, the JD(S)-led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda is the third player in the fray.
Announcing the format of the election, Rawat said there will be a single phase election for the 224-member assembly, like the last time. The notification for the polls will be issued on April 17 and the last date for filing of nomination will be April 24, Rawat said at a press conference. April 27 will be the last date of withdrawal of candidates, he added. All electronic voting machines will be linked to Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, he said.