Loudspeakers went silent and the heat and dust generated by hectic campaigning settled as the State readied for the May 5 elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Public campaigning by all candidates in the fray ended at 5 p.m. on Friday. The model code of conduct prohibits holding public meetings and use of loudspeakers by parties and candidates from 5 p.m. on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told presspersons here on Friday.

The Election Commission and the police have made elaborate arrangements for peaceful and smooth conduct of polls on Sunday. Several constituencies witness multi-cornered contest between Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and Karnataka Janata Paksha. Polling will take place in 223 Assembly constituencies, with the one in Periyapatna postponed to May 28 following the death of BJP candidate.

The campaign saw bitter canvassing, particularly by the ruling BJP and the Congress, as national leaders of the two parties accused each other of indulging in corruption.

While the Congress tried to put the focus on corruption and failure to use Central funds by three Chief Ministers of the BJP government, the BJP highlighted the development works carried out during its tenure.

The Janata Dal (Secular) of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda had also put up an aggressive campaigning seeking to spread its influence beyond its traditional stronghold of old Mysore region.

In the 2008 elections, BJP secured 110 seats, three short of majority, and went on to form the government with the help of five independents who were made Ministers. The Congress bagged 80 seats and the JD(S) 28, Independents six.

The commission has made arrangements for counting of votes on May 8 in 36 locations across the State.

The Income Tax Department is conducting a probe into seizure of cash of Rs. 2.5 crore at the residence of the former Minister and JD (S) candidate in Hiriyur A. Krishnappa, at K.R. Puram here on Thursday. The department was expected to submit a report to the commission soon, the CEO said.

Authorities have seized illegal cash of Rs. 37.57 lakh from a car at Puttenahalli in J.P. Nagar in the City on Friday. They also seized illegal cash of Rs. 20 lakh at K R Puram, Rs. 20 lakh at Honnali in Davangere, Rs. 9 lakh at Valmikinagar in Chamarajpet, Rs. 3 lakh at Nargund, Rs. 4 lakh at Bellary and Rs. 8.37 lakh at Davangere, the CEO said.

Authorities have also seized illegally stored saris in Bagepalli, rice bags at Bangarpet, and liquor at Gangavathi in Raichur, Honnali, Bagepalli and Gundlupet.

The total illegal cash seized so far stood at Rs. 17 crore while the total illegal liquor sized was 71,895 litres (worth Rs. 7.6 crore).

A total of 2,093 poll code cases have been registered so far, Mr Jha added.

More In: Karnataka | National