Barring a couple of untoward incidents, polling in Kolar and Chickballapur districts was by and large and peaceful.

Despite the number of activities under Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme, the turnout in both the districts was not up to the expected level.

The women and first-time voters showed keen interest in exercising their franchise. A large number of women were seen standing in queues in front of polling booths in several villages. Revelry prevailed among the voters in Hosamtnahalli in Kolar taluk which falls under Srinivasapur Assembly constituency as their village got a polling booth for the first time. “Earlier we have had to go to Matnahalli which is 2 km away. Now we are happy that we need not take pains to vote as a booth is opened in our village,” Shantamma, a senior voter, told The Hindu.

First opportunity

Sushmitha K.R., who got the first opportunity to cast the vote, said: “I feel proud to participate in the electoral process.” Residents of Husainpur in Gauribidanur taluk in Chickballapur district who announced a boycott of elections alleging lack of infrastructure, changed their mind later and started voting only after 2.30 p.m.

It was widely believed that the strict measures by the paramilitary forces said to have created fear psyche among the voters boomeranging on achieving higher voter turnout in Chickballapur district. While 77 per cent voting was registered in the district in the 2008 elections, it was only around 70 per cent this time.

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