55 p.c. turnout in Council polls

Officials at a polling booth in Bangalore waiting for voters to turn up during the Legislative Council elections on Sunday,(right) Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda exercising his franchise in Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district.— Photos: V. Sreenivasa Murthy and by Special Arrangement  

Elections to six seats of the Legislative Council from graduates' and teachers' constituencies passed off peacefully on Sunday.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer here, about 55 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in the six constituencies. Counting of votes will be taken up on Wednesday.

A total of 38 and 23 candidates are in the fray from graduates' and teachers' constituencies, respectively.

Bangalore Graduates' constituency, which has been a bastion of the ruling BJP, recorded the lowest voter turnout.

The polling percentage in the six constituencies is as follows: Northeast Graduates' constituency – 40.55, Southwest Graduates' – 50.39, Bangalore Graduates' – 35, Southeast Teachers' constituency – 83, Southwest Teachers' – 60.49 and South Teachers' constituency – 66.72. Prominent leaders such as Chairman of the Legislative Council D.H. Shankaramurthy, the former Minister Ramachandra Gowda and Ganesh Karnik, all BJP MLCs, are in the fray.

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda exercised his franchise in Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district.

Prominent among those who voted were Ministers S. Suresh Kumar, MP Ananth Kumar, Legislative Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah and the former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde.

There were complaints regarding violation of the model code of conduct allegedly by Congress and BJP candidates by openly displaying propaganda materials near polling booths in Bangalore. The police nabbed eight persons who were found distributing fake identity cards for voting and seized hundreds of such cards from them.

There are 15 candidates in the fray in Northeast Graduates' constituency, seven in Southwest Graduates' constituency, 16 in Bangalore Graduates' constituency, nine in Southeast Teachers' constituency, eight in Southwest Teachers' constituency and six in South Teachers' constituency.

The term of Manohar Maski, Mr. Shankaramurthy, Mr. Ramachandra Gowda, Y.A. Narayana Swamy, Mr. Karnik and Marithibbe Gowda ends on June 21.