Election Commission announced dates for Karnataka Assembly election.

On Tuesday The Election Commission  announced Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on May 12, and counting of votes will be held May 15, the Election Commission (EC) announced today., one of the three states where the Congress is still in power and the BJP is pushing for a comeback ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

That means the model code of conduct will also come into force in the state immediately. The EC also said that April 24 will be the last date to file nominations and April 27 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

The previous assembly polls were held on May 5 in 2013 in a single phase, with 2,948 candidates in the fray. The state had around 71.45% polling back then.

Congress and BJP both have already stepped up the campaign, which has led to bitter exchanges between the two sides.

On Monday, Amit Shah BJP chief met religious gurus and visited several mutts in Karnataka. His counterpart Congress Rahul Gandhi, too, has addressed several public meetings. His temple visits have been mocked by the BJP as a desperate attempt to win Hindu votes.

A win for the Congress would come as a huge boost not just for the party but also Gandhi, who took over as the party chief in December and has been aggressively taking on the Modi government in public as well as social media.

With the win in Karnataka, the BJP not only will take the number up to 21 states where the party is in power, on its own or with allies but also because it will be its gateway to South, which is vital to its poll calculations for the Lok Sabha election.

The Siddaramaiah government’s move to give minority religion status to the influential Lingayat community, considered a part of Hindu fold, is seen as an attempt to dent BJP’s vote base.

Variously described as a shrewd political move and sheer opportunism, the decision, sent for approval to the Centre, will be a major talking point in the run-up to the poll.

The Janata Dal (Secular) led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda is the third player in the fray.

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