As Karnataka goes to poll on May 12, the city of Bengaluru is also preparing to vote, 431 candidates contesting 28 constituencies in the state capital. On an average, there are 16 MLA contestants for each of the 28 constituencies in the city.
According to urban data portal opencity.in, there are an average 16 MLA-hopefuls from each constituency. Among these, Hebbal in North Bengaluru stands out, with 28 candidates vying to represent the constituency. On the whole, there are 51 parties and 191 independent candidates fighting the election in the city.
The ruling Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party will be contesting all seats in the capital. The Janata Dal (Secular), which had formed a coalition government with the BJP in 2008 and is once again likely to be the kingmaker in this election, will be contesting from every constituency except Anekal. Close on its trails is the Hyderabad-based All India Mahila Empowerment Party, one of the newest political entrants in India, which will be contesting 21 seats. Ironically, only two of the partyâ€™s candidates are women â€“ Jayalakshmi BV, who will be contesting from BTM Layout, and Jeelani Fathima from Byatarayanapura.
In March this year, the Economic Times reported that the Aam Aadmi Party would be contesting all 28 seats in the city. It is currently fielding 11 candidates. The communist parties, CPI(M), CPI(ML), and SUCI(M), will each be contesting two to three seats. The Shiv Sena will be contesting four seats â€“ Hebbal, Yeshwantapura, Chamrajpet, and Bommanahalli. Another five contestants belong to the Ambedkar National Congress, the Ambedkar Samaj Party, and the Ambedkarite Party of India.
Other contesting parties include the Republican Party of India (A), Janata Dal (U), Dr Ambedkar Peopleâ€™s Party, Samajwadi Party, AIADMK, Bahujan Samaj Party and Swaraj India.
The Karnataka state assembly election is considered by many to be a precursor to next yearâ€™s Lok Sabha elections. This also makes it a prestige battle between the BJP and the Congress. There are 122 MLAs from the Congress party in the incumbent Karnataka assembly.