Karnataka is holding elections for its 224 assembly constituencies with over 5.3 crore eligible voters. Polling stations across the state opened at 7 am and will close at 6 pm. The election is being closely watched as it’s the last major state contest before the Parliament elections scheduled in 2019. The main players in the election are the BJP, Congress and JD(S). A total of 58,545 polling stations have been set up to cater to the large electorate, with over 3.5 lakh security personnel deployed to ensure peaceful voting. The state in southern India is expected to be a closely contested battleground between the two parties. Modi has campaigned heavily in the state, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi conducted a week-long tour there.