The Legislative Assembly Elections in India which are simply known as the Assembly Elections are held every five years in which members of the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly are chosen by the Indian electorate. In accordance with the Constitution of India, the elections are held in all twenty-nine states and two of the seven Union Territories. These Legislative Assembly elections are never carried out in the same year for all the states in India.
Karnataka has 224 constituencies and is divided into six regions which are Hyderabad Karnataka, Mumbai Karnataka, Coastal Karnataka, Central Karnataka, Southern Karnataka and Bengaluru Karnataka. Legislative Assembly Elections in Karnataka were first held in the year 1952 (when it was Mysore Legislative Assembly Election). Since then, Assembly Elections are conducted after every five years in the state. The Assembly of Karnataka is responsible for creating laws regarding the conduct of local body elections unilaterally. The main political parties in Karnataka include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC) and Janata Dal (Secular). This year, the Assembly Elections are going to take place on May 12, 2018 and results are going to be declared on May 15, 2018.
The last five Assembly Elections that took place in Karnataka are-
Karnataka Assembly Election-1994
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly Election which was held in the year 1994 took place in two phases (on November 26th and December 1st) in all the 224 constituencies. The Janata Dal(JD) contested for 221 seats and claimed the majority in the house by winning 115 seats. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came second by securing 40 seats even though the party contested for 223 seats while the Indian National Congress (INC) won 34 seats out of 221 seats from which they contested. Remaining seats were won by regional parties and some were won by independent candidates. During the state Legislative Assembly Elections, Janata Dal was led by H.D Deve Gowda while B.S. Yeddyurappa took charge of the BJP.
Karnataka Assembly Election- 1999
In the Assembly Elections of 1999, the Indian National Congress emerged victorious by winning 132 seats out of 222 contested seats. Bharatiya Janata Party formed the National Democratic Alliance with Janata Dal (United) and won merely 63 seats. Janata Dal (United) which contested for 112 seats won 18 seats while BJP won 40 seats out of 149 contested seats. The Janata Dal (Secular) party led by former Prime Minister Deve Gowda won only 10 seats. Remaining 20 seats were won by regional parties.
Karnataka Assembly Election- 2004
The Karnataka Assembly Elections of 2004 were contested in two parts - on 20th April and 26th April for all 224 constituencies. The first-ever coalition was formed in the year 2004 as no party was able to get 113 seats, which was required to form a government. Bharatiya Janata Party led by B.S. Yeddyurappa emerged as the largest with 79 seats out of 198 contested seats. A coalition government was formed between the Indian National Congress led by S.M. Krishna and Janata Dal (Secular), led by Siddaramaiah, with Dharam Singh as the Chief Minister of the state. The Indian National Congress contested for 225 seats and won 65 seats while Janata Dal (secular) contested for 228 seats and won 58 seats. Janata Dal (United) contested for 26 seats and won only 5 seats.
Karnataka Assembly Election- 2008
In the year 2008, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Elections took place in three phases for all 224 constituencies. Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were used in this election. The Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the victorious party by winning 110 seats, but was unable to gain majority on its own, so it formed a government with the support of 6 independent candidates. BJP came to power for the first time ever in a southern Indian state.
Even in the Legislative Assembly Elections of 2004, BJP was able to win a maximum number of seats (79 seats out of 198 contested seats) but was unable to form the government because it did not secure the majority. Indian National Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) entered into an alliance to form the government. But later, JD(S) withdrew its support and formed an alliance with the BJP. They also made a mutual agreement which stated that H.D. Kumaraswamy of JD(S) would be the Chief Minister for 20 months while B.S. Yeddyurappa of BJP would be the Chief Minister for next 20 months. However, the agreement was not followed and the state came under President's rule due to the disagreement of the parties over power sharing. So, the elections were preponed to the year 2008 instead of 2009.
Karnataka Assembly Election- 2013
The Assembly Election of 2013 was the Fourteenth legislative assembly election which was held in a single phase for 223 seats out of total 224 seats. Election in Periyapatna Constituency was adjourned due to the death of the BJP candidate Sannamoge Gowda, a day before the polling took place. Janata Dal (Secular) contested for 222 seats and won 40 seats in the Elections. Bharatiya Janata Party also contested for 222 seats and obtained the same result. The Indian National Congress won the majority of seats under the leadership of former Janata Parivar leader Siddaramaiah. The party won 122 seats out of 223 contested seats, which was 9 seats more than the majority mark of 113 seats which helped the Indian National Congress to form government in Karnataka State Legislative Assembly and return to power after nine years with Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister.