Election Commission extends polling hours till 6 p.m.

Elections to the Karnataka Assembly will be held on Sunday in one phase, with about 4.35 crore citizens eligible to exercise their franchise in 223 constituencies to decide the fate of 2,940 candidates.

Polling in Periyapatna Assembly constituency in Mysore district has been countermanded to May 28 following the death of the BJP candidate.

The Election Commission on Saturday announced extension of polling time by an hour up to 6 p.m. in view of the extreme heat in parts of the State. The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements to ensure free and fair elections.

It has set up 51,829 polling booths across the State, 45 per cent of which have been declared either sensitive or hypersensitive. Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said 57,012 electronic voting machines would be used.

A total of 2.53 lakh personnel would be roped in for election duty, while 48,182 State police personnel would be deployed. To check malpractices, nearly 2,000 flying squads have been constituted and each squad is manned by four or five persons, including two policemen.

A total of 2,770 male and 170 female candidates are in the fray. Any party seeking to form the government on its own has to secure at least 113 seats for a simple majority.

First time

A healthy 69 per cent of the State’s population is eligible to vote. Of the 4,35,27,764 voters, 35,58,862 are in the age group 18 to 22, who will vote for the first time.

Polling was 64.84 per cent in the 2008 elections.