Faulty EVMs cause delays at some polling stations; turnout was 57.44 per cent in twin cities
Barring a few cases where electronic voting machines (EVMs) went kaput, protests over names missing from the voters lists and complaints about slow polling, polling to the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation council concluded peacefully on Thursday.
According to district election officials, at the time of going to press, the turnout was about 60 per cent.
At some polling stations, voters began to turn up in the morning as soon as polling began.
However, EVMs were found to be faulty at some stations, causing slight delays. The presiding officers took immediate steps to get such EVMs replaced.
The faulty machines at stations in ward nos. 25 and 44 of Hubli resulted in polling to be deferred by a few minutes. At Madar Maddi and Sri Ram Nagar in Dharwad, they caused delays of 20 and 10 minutes respectively.
The issue of names missing from voters lists caused confusion at some polling stations, with even those who had electors photo identity cards finding their names omitted. This led to a protest at Durgad Bail polling station in ward no. 60 of Old Hubli, where around 150 names were reportedly missing.
Led by Congress leader Altaf Hallur, the residents alleged their names were deliberately removed from the list.
At S.M. Krishna Nagar here, the police caned the crowd that had gathered, following confusion about their names.
At Simpi Galli in ward no. 55 of Hubli, workers of political parties got into an argument with police officials following allegations of “duplicate” voting, triggered by a voter from another ward entering the polling station along with those who had come there to vote.
At the polling station at Moorusavir Math ground, slow polling resulted in people standing in serpentine queues even after 5 p.m. Election officials issued tokens to those who had come prior to 5 p.m., but a youth, who arrived at 5.30 p.m. demanded a chance to vote. After an altercation with the police, he was removed from the premises.
There were complaints of slow polling at stations in the Chennapet area too.
Strict implementation of the poll code meant that all ceiling fans in some polling stations were removed, as it is the party symbol of the BSR Congress. Election staff were at the receiving end, as they had to cope up with both election fever and searing heat.
Who is the candidate?
Karnataka Janata Paksha workers chose to appeal to votes in the name of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. So much so that in many areas, KJP workers were unaware of the names of candidates.