Karnataka

West Graduates Constituency records 70.11% polling in Council elections

Graduate voters checking for their names on a list outside a polling station in Kundgol of Dharwad district on Wednesday.  

Polling in the elections to the Karnataka West Graduates Constituency of the Legislative Council spread over the districts of Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Uttara Kannada concluded peacefully without any glitches on Wednesday. As much as 70.11 % of the total electorate, including some COVID-19 positive patients, exercised their franchise.

The constituency has a total of 74,278 voters, including 47,954 men, 26,673 women and 11 of the other gender. Of these, 52,080 voters, including 35,664 men, 16,415 women and one of the other gender, voted on Wednesday.

With that, 74.93 % of the men voters, 61.54 % of the women voters and 9.09 % voters of the other gender exercised their franchise.

Among the four districts, Gadag with 15,978 voters recorded the highest polling percentage of 74.59 % followed by Uttara Kannada, which has 13,148 voters, with 71.08 % and Dharwad, which has 21,549 voters, with 68.65 %. And, Haveri district, which has the highest number of voters — 23,603, recorded 67.89 % polling.

Polling began on a slow note with only less than 10 % of the voters turning up to vote in the first two hours. By noon, polling picked up with 24.89 % voters exercising their franchise. By 2 p.m., it was 44.47 % and by 4 p.m., it increased to 57.96 %.

In the last elections in 2014, only 36,001 voters out of the total 94,352 cast their votes for 49.48 % polling.

Prominent among the elected representatives who cast their votes were Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, MLC Pradeep Shettar and Srinivas Mane and the former Minister Basavaraj Horatti. Mr. Joshi and Mr. Shettar said that it was heartening to see that despite the fear of COVID-19, the graduate voters were coming out to exercise their franchise.

Confusion

As polling began, there was some confusion as an additional list of voters carried by a few political parties did not tally with the voter list at the polling stations. Mr. Shettar even raised the issue with Assistant Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Nitesh Patil. However, it later turned out that the additional list being carried by the party workers was not an updated one.

Mr. Nitesh Patil told The Hindu that they had supplied the updated voter list to all polling stations and it was given to candidates also. However, it turned out that some carried an old additional list creating confusion among voters. “We have cleared confusion,” he said.

Due to the pandemic, elaborate arrangements had been made at the polling stations, including setting up of isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive patients. In Dharwad district, two COVID-19 positive patients cast their votes wearing personal protection equipment at Booth No 50 in Annigeri. The administration had arranged for transportation for them and the polling station was sanitised after they cast their votes.

Meanwhile, Election Observer Shalini Rajneesh visited various polling stations in the constituency and interacted with the polling staff.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:37:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/west-graduates-constituency-records-7011-polling-in-council-elections/article32967444.ece

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