ANI Photo | Strong Room opened in Yelahanka ahead of EVM collection for Karnataka Assembly elections

Bengaluru District Election Officer, Tushar Girinath, on Tuesday opened the Strong Room, set up at Seshadripuram College in Karnataka’s Yelahanka ahead of polling in the Assembly polls slated tomorrow.
This comes ahead of the collection of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) by the poll parties for the May 10 voting.
The preparations are in full swing by the poll body to conduct free and fair elections in the southern State.
The high-voltage campaign for the May 10 assembly elections also ended on Monday with top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding 19 public meetings and six roadshows while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi camped in the state for 12 days.
All three major political parties in the state – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) have put all their efforts to woo the voters, making promises and launching accusations at each other to secure a majority in the state’s 224-seat Assembly.
The Karnataka assembly will go to polls on May 10 and the counting of votes will take place on May 13. The majority mark to form the government is 113 seats.
The BJP which is facing an air of anti-incumbency factor, is eyeing a second term in the state and has exuded confidence in retaining power with a full majority.
The Lingayat and Vokkaliga voters will play a major factor in the elections. Lingayats comprise 17 per cent of the population and Vokkaligas 11 per cent.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the party will return to power with a full majority.
Shah held a mega roadshow in Doddaballapura on Sunday. “We will win the elections by full majority or at least half a mark plus 15 seats. In these four years, Yediyurappa and Bommai government has done a lot of work,” the Union Home Minister told ANI.
Significantly, Karnataka is the only state in the South where BJP is in power.
With top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigning for the party, BJP put all its might to strengthen its support base.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 19 public meetings and held six roadshows. Amit Shah held 16 public rallies and 14 roadshows. BJP chief JP Nadda held 10 public meetings and 16 roadshows.
Hectic electioneering by leaders of various political parties saw BJP allowing Union Ministers and Chief Ministers to campaign with their full force while Congress putting its chief ministers including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as star campaigners.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held four election rallies and held a roadshow. Further, several union ministers including Nirmala Sithraman, Nitin Gadkari, S Jaishankar, Ashwini Vaishnav, Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
BJP also pitted several chief ministers including UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde in the campaign fray of Karnataka.
The Congress on the other hand worked hard to wrest power from the BJP that is striving to break the 38-year-old pattern of alternating governments and retain its power in the state.
Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, held various roadshows, rallies and elections campaigns.
With the war of words between top guns of all the major political parties, the campaigns of the election of the southern citadel saw allegations and accusations flying thick and fast.
Several issues of the state were promised to be solved.
Priyanka held a roadshow in Bengaluru’s Vijayanagar on the last day of campaigning.
However, the issue of Bajrang Dal, which was mentioned in the Congress manifesto, took centre stage in the political campaigning.
The Congress party last week in its manifesto for the May 10 elections said it will take “decisive action” as per law including banning organisations like Bajrang Dal, the Popular Front of India and others.
The Congress manifesto said the party is committed to taking firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred among communities on grounds of caste and religion.
PM Modi wrapped up his two-day mega roadshow on Sunday with a stretch of 10 km roadshow in Bengaluru.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Opposition over the issue, saying, “The Congress has become a slave of appeasement and vote-bank politics.”
Addressing an election rally in Tumakuru, Prime Minister Modi said, “Congress has now started objecting to saying Jai Bajrangbali. Congress has become a slave to appeasement and vote-bank politics. Congress can never work for the welfare of Congress. It can never develop Karnataka.”
As part of Congress campaigning for the elections, Rahul Gandhi, who is on a visit to Karnataka to campaign for his party, held an interaction with gig workers and delivery partners of app-based delivery services in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The former Lok Sabha MP interacted with delivery workers at a hotel in Bengaluru.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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