More than 76 per cent voters in the constituency turn up to elect their MP
Dakshina Kannada created history on Thursday when more than three-fourths of its voters turned up at polling booths to elect their MP. With voter awareness hitting a new high, each of 1,766 booths in the constituency received 100 more voters than last time.
A whopping 11.96 lakh people pressed the EVM buttons on Thursday compared to 10.15 lakh in 2009. The polling percentage has been tentatively put at 76.50 per cent — two percentage points more than the previous election (74.45 percent). The State’s average is a good 10 percentage point less.
As usual, urban voters were less enthusiastic than their rural counterparts. The turnout was highest in Sullia (83.76 per cent) and lowest in Mangalore City North (70.08). It was 70.13 per cent in Mangalore City South. Bantwal and Puttur also recorded more than 80 per cent polling. One booth in Kalladka touched 80 per cent by 3 p.m. itself.
The people gave hint to this by afternoon itself. By 1 p.m. about 45 per cent of the electorate had cast their vote across the district. Some rural polling stations in the Maoist-affected belt in Belthangady and Karkala taluks recorded more than 50 per cent polling by noon.
A polling station at a school at Kutlur village in Belthangady taluk, where movement of Maoists had been reported earlier, recorded 56 per cent polling by 1 p.m.
Another booth in the same school recorded 52 per cent polling by then.
A polling station at Naravi in the same taluk recorded 63.87 per cent polling by 2 p.m. In Karkala taluk, Udupi district, two polling stations in the Maoist-affected Eedu (Hosmar) recorded 59 per cent and 67 per cent polling by 2.30 p.m.
Wheeled into booth
Polio-affected Abdul Sattar (54) from Maddadka in Belthangady taluk cast his vote at Kuvettu as did Pathunhi, 86, from Pade village. She was brought to the station on a wheelchair because of old age.
Both Kalladka and Ullal had been in the news for wrong reasons in the run up to the elections, and the police had kept both under scrutiny to ensure fair polling there. Both towns saw brisk polling.
Amid remnants of broken glass bottles by the side of the road, a platoon kept watch at Kalladka junction where incidents of stone and bottle throwing were reported on the night of April 10.
A little further down, an anti-riot Vajra patrol vehicle was stationed.
In Ullal, a platoon stood at Abbakka Circle, in quick access to Mogaveerapatna and Kodi where communal disturbances were reported in February.