Bengaluru: Visiting temples and seeking divine blessings became synonymous with campaigning before the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018. Political leaders from almost every contesting party visited not one but several temples to offer prayers. Counting day on Tuesday was no different as several leaders cutting across parties made a dash to temples in the wee hours of Tuesday.
BJP's CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa and his family were seen at a temple in Shikaripura while B.Sriramalu, who is contesting against CM Siddaramaiah, too was seen offering prayers.
— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
JD-S, a party expected to play the role of 'kingmaker' after almost every exit poll predicted a fractured mandate, too had many of its leaders make a beeline for divine intervention. Party leader HD Kumaraswamy offered prayers at Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Nagamangala.
Congress, having repeatedly claimed that there is no anti-incumbency and that it will roar back to power, too conducted prayers. While party president Rahul Gandhi had made several visits to a number of temples and dargahs in the run up to the elections, workers on Tuesday organised havans outside the headquarters in Delhi - praying for success in the Karnataka elections.
The battle for Karnataka is seen as a massive prestige battle ahead of Lok Sabha elections next year. While BJP is looking at building momentum, it is a matter of survival - many say - for the Congress.
Polling took place in 222 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka on May 12 and a total of 2,655 candidates were in the fray. The election was countermanded in Jayanagar constituency after the sitting BJP MLA BN Vijayakumar died of a heart attack during campaigning while it was deferred in Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat to May 28 after almost 10,000 fake voter cards were recovered from a flat in the area.
On counting day, security was given prime importance with 50,000 police personnel deployed across 38 counting centres in the state. Of these, 11,000 are in the state capital of Bengaluru alone.