Bangalore Urban records the lowest voter turnout but Bangalore Rural, highest

As much as 70.23 per cent of the 4.35 crore voters across Karnataka exercised their franchise in the 14th Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections held on Sunday to decide the fate of 2,940 candidates in 223 constituencies.

This is an impressive increase over the 2008 polls, when poll percentage was 64.68. Bangalore voters, however, continued to disappoint with a turnout of 52.83 per cent, though up from 47.3 of 2008. Bangalore Rural (77.95) recorded the highest voter turnout.

Polling was by and large peaceful barring a few minor incidents in Belgaum, Kolar and Bellary districts. “No incidents occurred which require ordering of repoll in the State,” Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told presspersons here.

Single-phase polling was held across the State from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. “The polling was 63 per cent at 5 p.m. and went up in the last hour to 70.23,” the CEO said. Highest polling of 71.90 per cent was recorded in 1978 elections in the State.

The votes will be counted on May 8 at 36 centres in different parts of the State.

The percentage of polling district-wise is: Belgaum – 72.95; Bagalkot – 69.88; Bijapur – 61.86; Gulbarga –59.83; Yadgir – 58.88; Bidar – 54.98; Raichur – 62.92; Koppal – 69.92; Gadag – 69.90; Dharwad – 68.76; Uttara Kannada – 68.93; Haveri – 75.91; Bellary – 70.84; Chitradurga – 74.93; Davangere – 74.91; Shimoga – 73.84; Udupi – 76.76; Chikmagalur – 72.89; Tumkur – 74.88; Chickballapur – 75.89; Kolar – 73.92, Bangalore Urban – 52.83; Bangalore Rural 77.95 — , Ramanagram —74.96; Mandya – 74.91; Hassan – 76.88; Dakshina Kannada – 73.92; Kodagu – 68.95; Mysore – 67.82; Chamarajangar – 74.92. Voting has been peaceful though there were protests in some places over missing names, malfunctioning EVMs or heated exchange of words among supporters of various contestants.

Voters of three villages in Khanapur constituency in Belgaum district stayed away from polling citing lack of development in villages, the CEO said.

Two die

Two polling officials died following cardiac arrest. Thimmappa (45), Assistant Director, Agriculture, died of heart attack while he was discharging poll duty in Madhugiri constituency.

M.C. Mahendra, sector officer at Honnavar in Uttar Kannada district, died at 4 a.m. on Sunday. He was the principal of ITI at Honnavar.

Two incidents of proxy voting reported from Chickpet and Bommanahalli in Bangalore and some persons were held with regard.

Polling in Periyapatna constituency in Mysore district has been put off to May 28 following the death of the BJP candidate.

Today’s polling would decide the fate of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar (Hubli-Central), the former Chief Ministers H D Kumaraswamy (Ramanagaram), B.S. Yeddyurappa (Shikaripur), Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah (Varuna), State Congress chief G Parameshwara (Koratagere), Deputy Chief Ministers R.Ashok (Padmanabhanagar), K.S. Eshwarappa (Shimoga), and several Ministers and former Ministers of various political parties are in the fray.

A total of 2,770 male and 170 female candidates have entered the electoral battle. Any party seeking to form government on its own has to secure at least 113 seats to obtain a simple majority.