Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, IT industry veteran N R Narayana Murthy along with wife Sudha Murty, and Mysuru royal family member 'Rajamate' Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, were among the early voters who cast their ballot in the Karnataka Assembly polls on Wednesday.
Siddalinga Swamiji, seer of the Tumakuru-based Siddaganga Mutt; actor Ramesh Arvind, senior Congress leader G Parameshwara, and ministers including R Ashoka, Araga Jnanendra, C N Ashwath Narayan and K Sudhakar exercised their franchise in the initial hours of polling, which began at 7 am.
Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murty voted at Jayanagar in Bengaluru, where Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, also voted.
Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena and District Electoral Officer and Chief of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tushar Giri Nath also cast their ballot.
Urging people to come out and vote, Sudha Murty said: "I will not ask you who you will vote for or why you vote, because everyone has their own opinion and decision, but everyone should vote. We vote in every election."
On people who 'go out' without voting, she said, "I can only say those who don't have patriotism, do such things. Get up early, first vote and then go anywhere you want."
BJP stalwart Yediyurappa, along with sons -- party candidate B Y Vijayendra and Shivamogga MP B Y Raghavendra -- other family members, visited a temple in the morning and later voted at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district.
"Based on the developmental works of (PM) Modi and (Basavaraj) Bommai government and my travel across the state I'm saying that we will win 125-130 seats and form the government on our own, and Vijayendra will win in Shikaripura by a margin of over 40,000 votes," Yediyurappa said after voting.
Many polling stations in Bengaluru saw brisk polling, with senior citizens leading from the front at some of them.