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Will the voters again maintain their high turnout today?

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DUTY BOUND: Polling staff are seen leaving Mangalore for their allotted booths on Thursday.
DUTY BOUND: Polling staff are seen leaving Mangalore for their allotted booths on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Delimitation has vastly changed the constituencies in Dakshina Kannada

District recorded over 75 per cent polling in last three elections

1,400 EVMs, 6,000 security-men put in place

for polling

MANGALORE: Will the voters in Dakshina Kannada, who are known to be among the most conscious of their franchise in the State, maintain the tradition on Friday?

People in the district have recorded a turnout higher than the State’s average in the last three elections with almost 75 per cent of them casting their votes. The State’s average has been around 66 per cent.

The constituencies, where voter turnout had been higher than the State’s average in the last three elections were Sullia, Puttur, Belthangady, Moodbidri, and the now-dissolved Vittla.

Barring Belthangady, rest of the constituencies have undergone vast changes in the delimitation. Many voters thus will not get a chance to vote for their favourite candidates. In Bengre, Kankanadi, Balar, Jeppu, Kankanady-Valencia and Attavar, who voted for candidates contesting Ullal Assembly seat, will now have to vote for a candidate in Mangalore City South constituency. Most of the rural areas of the erstwhile Surathkal constituency have been shifted to Moodbidri, now.

It remains to be seen how the changes in Bantwal, which got more than 150 booths added to it from the erstwhile Vittla and Puttur, will affect the political fortunes of the two former Ministers B. Ramanath Rai of the Congress and B. Nagaraja Shetty of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In Mangalore City South, the number of voters has doubled from 90,000-plus in 2004. Political pundits and candidates, who ended their campaign on Wednesday, are keeping their fingers crossed on the outcome.

On Thursday, the polling officers, who underwent last-minute training on the conduct of elections, left the city with the ink, electronic voting machines and other polling materials. They have been asked to stay overnight at the polling booths. More than 1,400 EVMs have been secured for the polls and over 6,000 security-men will be spread across the district.

Polling also meant a day of disappointment for people who were taken unawares by the boards displayed in front of family bars and restaurants that it is a “dry day for elections”. District authorities have banned sale of alcohol till Saturday noon.

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