Karnataka: India state votes in bitterly contested poll

Mysuru Police try to control the situation after a protest by the supporters of Karnataka BJP chief's son B Y Vijayendra who failed to get Assembly ticket to contest from Varuna in Mysuru on April 24 2018

Mysuru Police try to control the situation after a protest by the supporters of Karnataka BJP chief's son B Y Vijayendra who failed to get Assembly ticket to contest from Varuna in Mysuru on April 24 2018

Congress has a slim majority in the 224-member Karnataka assembly and all the signs are that today's vote will be close.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, one of BJP's star campaigners, called out the Siddaramaiah Government for celebrating "Tipu Jayanti" while objecting to the installation of a statue of Chattrapati Sivaji Maharaj in the state.

There are a total of 2,14,834 voters in the constituency, having over 1 lakh female voters and 16 others.

The state is the last major bastion of the opposition Congress party, which India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to break into. JD (S) state president H D Kumaraswamy has conceded it was a "battle for survival" for his party which has been out of power for a decade now. He brushed aside a question on whether sitting MLA and Congress candidate Muniratna was a suspect."Just because a few bills bearing the picture of an MLA were found, we should not jump to conclusions. At the outset, it looks like an effort to influence vulnerable voters", said Sanjeev Kumar.Election officials have also seized documents suggesting that the perpetrators had conducted a thorough housejold survey before collecting the EPICs.

"There has been some momentum in anti-Modi politics and if the Congress wins, it will be an important milestone before national elections", Ms Hebbar said.

The opposition BJP also brought in a slew of union ministers including Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, to interact with the southern state's electorate and pitch for the party's return to power.

5 militants, 5 civilians killed in gunfight, clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir
In the initial firefight, one SOG personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Anil Kumar, and army soldier of 44 RR were injured. The troops had martyred the three youth during a violent cordon and search operation in Chattabal area of Srinagar .

During the campaign, Mr Modi initially praised Mr Gowda and later hit out at him for having an understanding with the Congress.

"Rahul Gandhi has spoken about his Prime Ministerial ambitions". At the other end, the serious attacks by PM Modi against Siddaramaiah calling his government "10 per cent commission sarkar" and "Siddha Rupaiya" government has also shown that there is a serious dearth of political issues.

The powerful Lingayat community, a Hindu sect that comprises 17% of the state's population, is expected to play a decisive role in the elections.

His government has taken controversial decisions to propose a new state flag and emphasise the use of the local Kannada language. On the basis of that video an FIR should be registered against all those who are participating in the corrupt deal with the judiciary, including Sriramalu, who is a BJP candidate.

For the past month, Karnataka has witnessed high octane campaigning.