Naxalite-affected areas recorded 80 per cent polling: official
Tight security arrangements were in place in sensitive areas
Elections in Kundapur taluk to be held on May 12
Udupi: The gram panchayat polls in Udupi and Karkala taluks on Saturday witnessed a turnout of 74.26 per cent, according to the figures provided by the district administration.
While Udupi taluk recorded a turnout of 71.57 per cent, in Karkala taluk it was 76.96 per cent.
Tight security arrangements were in place in the naxalite-affected areas of Karkala taluk. According to Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha, voting was absolutely peaceful. The voter turnout in naxalite-affected areas was good, she said.
Udupi is the only district in the State where polling for gram panchayats is being held in two phases. In Kundapur taluk, elections will be held on May 12.
Voting began on a brisk note in the two taluks. The average turnout in the naxalite-affected areas in Karkala taluk was 80 per cent. The highest turnout in one of the polling stations in the naxalite-affected areas was 89 per cent and the lowest was 71 per cent. (There are no naxalite affected areas in Udupi taluk).
As many as 117 out of the 334 voters had cast their votes by 11.15 a.m. at the Government Higher Primary School at Nadpal, a naxalite-affected area.
At the Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School in Someshwara Pete, which comes under the Nadpal Gram Panchayat, 433 of the 1,091 voters had cast their votes by 11.30 a.m. Ranganath Poojary, a resident of the village who had cast his vote at Someshwara, told presspersons that the people had cast their votes freely. The authorities had made proper arrangements for the elections. “We want electricity and good roads,” he said. Manohara Bhakta, another resident, said that Nadpal was the largest gram panchayat in Karkala taluk. The village needed better infrastructure, he said.
As many as 332 of the 503 voters had cast their votes at the Higher Primary School at Sitanadi-Nellikate by 12.25 p.m. At the Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School at Kabbinale Melmatha under the Mudrady Gram Panchayat, 356 of the 563 voters had exercised their franchise by 1.10 p.m.
All these four polling stations, considered to be naxalite-affected areas, were guarded by a team comprising a Sub-Inspector, two constables and nine personnel from the Tamil Nadu Special Police Force. Ninety-three police personnel were on the guard around the Someshwara Pete polling station. Parmeshwar Naik, a police officer, said that the personnel of the Anti-Naxal Force had been stationed at the Sitanadi-Nellikate polling station from the previous night till Saturday morning.
As many as 359 of the 1,170 voters had cast their votes by 10.25 a.m. at the B.M. Aided Higher Primary School at Perdoor village.