These districts among four that recorded over 80 p.c. polling

The tag of backward region notwithstanding, people in Kolar and Chickballapur districts have shown more political maturity by participating wholeheartedly in the democratic process. These two districts are among the four, including Bangalore Rural and Ramanagaram, that recorded more than 80 per cent voting during polling on Sunday.

Another notable factor is that Chickballapur stands first among all districts as far as voting percentage is concerned with 83.50. Kolar recorded 81.47 per cent. The gender-wise polling pattern was also encouraging in both the districts. While 82.55 per cent of male voters cast their votes in Kolar district, 80.37 per cent female exercised their right to franchise. The corresponding figures for Chickballapur district, as provided by the Election Commission, stands at 84.64 per cent and 83.25 per cent, respectively.

Higher than target

In Kolar district, the achievement was a little higher than the target set by the district administration. Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer D.S. Vishwanath announced during the electioneering process that the voting target was set at 80 per cent against 73 per cent in the 2008 elections.

“We are happy that we have crossed the mark,” Mr. Vishwanath said. The district has recorded about eight per cent more votes than in the previous elections, he said.

Chickballapur district also achieved almost the same percentage over the previous elections to stand top in the State.

The Systematic Voter Education and Elector Participation (SVEEP) programme introduced by the Election Commission to motivate voters to participate in the election process is seen as one of the major contributory factors for the impressive achievement in these districts.

“SVEEP has certainly played a vital role in creating awareness among voters in the district. It has helped reach a large number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population in the region,” Kolar Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer and in-charge of SVEEP S.M. Zulfikarullah told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

Despite achieving overall improvement, Mr. Zulfikarullah expressed dissatisfaction over the performance by some areas, including Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) which recorded the lowest percentage of polling, though the segment has more number of literate people than others in the district.

The personal performance of some officials also played a role in making SVEEP activities successful, he said. He praised the role of District Labour Officer Rajgopal who took up a number of awareness activities among the working force to motivate them to vote.

In Chickballapur

Chickballapur Deputy Commissioner V. Shankar and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer and SVEEP in-charge B.S. Shekharappa admitted that SVEEP had a vital role in enhancing polling percentage in the district.

A large number of senior citizens undeterred by ailments and age went to the polling centres on Sunday to cast their votes.

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