BJP should hold elections with ballot papers, says Uddhav Thackeray

Sharad Pawar NCP National Congress Party 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections

The Sharad Pawar-led party, which had extended support to the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly elections and did not field its own candidates, also demanded that elections in future be held using ballot papers.

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The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other opposition parties have already knocked at the doors of the President and the election commission, alleging rigging of voting machines after the BJP's unexpectedly massive victory in Uttar Pradesh elections in 2017. "However, the situation in Karnataka is different as it is a bigger state", Raut said. Among the candidates are four sitting and former chief ministers - the current CM Siddaramaiah, former BJP chief ministers BS Yeddyurappa and Jagdish Shettar, and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy. "It is in national interest that the Congress and the JD (S) are coming together", said NCP leader DP Tripathi. "The BJP's reach in Karnataka was limited". "Its victory of the electronic voting machine", tweeted Mr Thackeray on Tuesday afternoon. "The Election Commission should conduct elections through ballot boxes to remove doubts. To ensure the credibility of the electoral process, the EC should revert to the old practice of paper ballot, as most major democracies have done", it said. The Karnataka election results 2018 are significant for the ruling Congress as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is hoping to make a comeback in this southern state.

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As per early trends, BJP is leading in 27 seats and has won 77.The Congress is leading in 32 seats and has won 46, while the JD (S) has won 23 and is leading in 14 seats.

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A total of 2,655 candidates are in the fray for the 224 seats in Karnataka Assembly. Vote counting in RR Nagar will be taken up on 31 May.

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