NEW DELHI: Karnataka registered a voter turnout of 73.19 per cent in the Assembly polls which election officials on Thursday termed a record, while sharing the final figures.
Voting took place on Wednesday to elect representatives to the 224-member House.
”Karnataka has created a new record for itself. Final voter turnout for Karnataka Election 2023 stands at 73.19 per cent,” said the Chief Electoral Office, Karnataka.
While Chikkaballapura district recorded the highest voter turnout of 85.56 per cent, followed by Bengaluru Rural at 85.08 per cent; the lowest was in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) South limits (parts of Bengaluru city) at 52.33 per cent, the official data showed.
”Largely peaceful voting in all 224 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka, and no repoll indicated in any of the 58,545 polling stations,” the Election Commission (EC) said on Wednesday night.
Interestingly, the top five districts with higher voter turnout are all from Old Mysuru region, which is considered to be the bastion of JD(S) while the Congress too is strong there. The ruling BJP is considerably weak in this region and is consistently putting efforts to make significant inroads.
The other three districts after Chikkaballapura and Bengaluru Rural are Ramanagara (85.04 percent), Mandya (84.45), and Tumakuru (83.58).
Karnataka recorded 72.44 per cent voter turnout in the 2018 Assembly polls which had thrown up a hung assembly with the BJP emerging as the single largest party tallying 104 seats, falling short of getting a majority. The turnout in 2013 polls was 71.83 per cent.
Counting of votes will take place on May 13.
Several pollsters have predicted that the Congress may have an edge in Karnataka, which is BJP’s southern citadel, in a hung assembly with a couple of them even projecting that the grand old party may get a majority on its own.
While the BJP, riding on the Narendra Modi juggernaut, is looking to break a 38-year-old poll jinx where the state has never voted the incumbent party to power since 1985, the Congress is hoping for a morale booster victory to give it much-needed momentum to position itself as the main opposition player in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
It also remains to be seen whether former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) will emerge as a ”kingmaker” or a ”king” by holding the key to government formation, in the event of a fractured mandate, as it has done in the past.
Source: Press Trust of India