The Election Commission of India will announce the schedule for the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections today. The poll body will announce the date at 11:30 am.
The term of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly ends on May 24.
The BJP has set a target of winning at least 150 of the total 224 seats in the Assembly that will go for polls in May. Out of the 224 seats in the Karnataka Assembly, the ruling BJP has set a target of winning at least 150. Meanwhile, the Congress and the JD(S) have announced their first lists of 124 and 93 candidates respectively.
In what could be a key poll issue in the state, the Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government last week announced two new categories for reservation in jobs and education. Chief Minister Bommai also scrapped the 4 per cent quota reserved for Other Backward Classed (OBC) Muslims. The 4 per cent reservation will now be distributed among the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities equally.
The 224-seat-strong Karnataka Assembly currently has 119 MLAs of the BJP, while Congress has 75 and its ally JD(S) has 28 seats.
Chief Minister Bommai on Tuesday accused Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar of luring BJP MLAs by offering them tickets to constituencies where the Congress is yet to announce its candidates for the upcoming polls.
"KPCC President D K Shivakumar since the last two to three days has been making phone calls to our MLAs in 100 constituencies where they are yet to announce tickets. He is stating that if you (BJP MLAs) come (to Congress) we will give you the ticket," Mr Bommai said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Congress and its allies on the other hand are riding high on anti-incumbency and several corruption allegations against the BJP as they fight to return to power.
The poll body may also announce dates for the bypolls to Wayanad and Jalandhar. The bypoll to Wayanad is necessitated following Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as an MP. Jalandhar is braced to go for polls following the death of sitting Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary in January.