Hubli-Dharwad (Karnataka) [India], May 10 (ANI): Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Hubli-Dharwad Central Assembly constituency Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday voted in SBI School in Madhura colony and said he would get elected with a huge margin.
Shettar, a former chief minister who recently joined Congress after being denied a ticket from the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Laxman Savadi, who formerly served as the deputy CM during the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government, belong to the Lingayat community which is believed to have a crucial impact on electoral outcomes in the state.
“Very good response from the people. There is an undercurrent. People from all castes, everybody is working and voting for me. Congress and Jagadish Shettar will get elected with a huge margin,” Shettar said.
Speaking on the Karnataka Congress manifesto mentioning the ban on Bajrang Dal, the party’s candidate from Hubli-Dharwad-Central said, “It is not a debatable question. I have already said on so many occasions that banning any organization if it is against the Constitution, the power is vested in the Union Government and not the State Government.”
The Congress manifesto read, “The Congress party is committed to taking firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred against communities on the grounds of caste and religion.”
“We believe that law and Constitution are sacrosanct and cannot be violated by individuals and Organisations like Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities,” it added.
Moreover, Karnataka Congress working president also cast votes in Karnataka Assembly polls and said, “We will get a clear majority with more than 125 seats. There are 2-3 people (for the CM post) but High Command and MLAs will decide.”
The polling for the Karnataka Assembly elections began at 7 am amid tight security and will continue till 6 pm.
According to the Election Commission, till 9 am voters’ turnout was 7.83 per cent
.The polls will seal the electoral fates of 2,615 candidates across parties in the State.
The highest voter turnout was recorded at 12.47 per cent in Dakshina Kannada till 9 am today.
Voting is being held for 224 assembly constituencies in Karnataka with 2,615 candidates in the fray.
As per the Election Commission, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Central recorded a 7.89 per cent of voter turnout while BBMP (North) at 7.55 per cent, BBMP (South) at 8.22 per cent, Bagalkot at 8.52 per cent, Bangalore Rural at 7.72 per cent, Bangalore Urban at 9.11 per cent, Belgaum at 7.47 am and Bellary at 8.84 per cent till 9 am.
These assembly elections are a critical test for the ruling BJP that’s hoping to beat precedent and return to power as well as for the Congress looking for electoral revival.
Several key leaders including Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai, State Minister K Sudhakar, and Congress state President DK Shivakumar were among early voters.
The counting of votes will take place on May 13. (ANI)
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