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Karnataka polls on May 10: CEC


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New Delhi: Karnataka will vote for a new government on May 10 and results will be declared on May 13, the Election Commission of India announced on Wednesday.

This was announced by Chief Election Commission Chief Rajiv Kumar in a press conference at Vigyan Bhavan in the Capital city here.

The term of Karnataka assembly ends on May 24. Karnataka has 224 assembly seats, with 113 being the majority mark. The last assembly elections were held in May 2018.

Kumar said that more than 9.17 lakh first-time voters will be participating in the upcoming elections in Karnataka.

“Also under Advance Application Facility, over 1.25 lakh applications were received from 17 years plus youth, out of which around 41,000 applications received from youth turning 18 years by April 1st, 2023,” he said. Also, there are 42,756 transgenders in the state, he added.

In a first, voting from home will be available for the people of Karnataka. This facility will be available for 80 plus citizens and people with disabilities, Kumar said.

He said that all arrangements will be made at the polling station for the convenience of senior citizens and PwD voters. There are 5.55 lakh PwD electors, he added.

For the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka, 58,282 polling stations will be set up in 224 ACs, Kumar said. Out of the 58,282 polling stations, there are 24,063 and 34,219 PS in urban and rural areas, respectively, he said.

For enhanced voter participation, there will be 1,320 polling stations managed by women and 224 polling stations managed by youth, while 224 polling stations will be managed by PwD, Kumar said.

The average voter per polling station is 883, he added.

To address issues such as urban and youth apathy, ECI has launched a Hackathon named Electhon 2023, Kumar said. Over 746 teams have been registered so far to provide solutions to enhance the participation of urban and youth voters, he said.

As much as 50 per cent of polling stations will have a webcasting facility, Kumar said.

For inclusive and participative elections, 100 percent enrollment of eligible (18+) Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in Karnataka, Kumar said.

As many as 40 ethnic polling stations will be set up for PVTGs and special emphasis on the participation of the third gender in the election process, he said.

Awareness campaign will also be held by the commercial tax department to nudge voters towards ethical voting, Kumar said.

On election malpractices, Kumar said the Commission is strengthening teams to curb misuse of money power. “As many as 2,400 Static Surveillance teams will keep strict vigil,” he said.

The Commission will also monitor as many as 171 interstate check posts in 19 districts sharing borders with other states, Kumar said and added that the Multiple Agencies are working in synergy and coordination.

“Strict and timely action will be taken against use of money power,” Kumar said. Expenditure-sensitive constituencies will also be mapped, he added.

On the Commission’s directions during the review meetings with enforcement agencies, strict vigil and monitoring ensured more than Rs 80 crore seizures so far, even before the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, Kumar said.

On the last five state elections, Kumar said advance planning, use of technology, and strict monitoring ensured peaceful and violence-free elections in recently held elections in three states in North-East, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, he said.

There were no repoll in over 66,000 plus polling stations, he said.

Seizures totaling over Rs 1,028 crores were recorded in the five states which is approximately 23 times more than in previous elections, Kumar said.

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