KARNATAKA

It is 52 p.c. in Belgaum and 63 p.c. in Chikkodi segments

Staff Correspondent

Expectations of major political parties belied

Belgaum: The voter-response in the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Belgaum and Chikkodi in Belgaum district, which went to the polls on Thursday, has come in contrast to the expectations of major political parties and their contestants.

As much as 52 per cent of the 13,77,355 voters in Belgaum constituency and 63 per cent of the 12,84,427 voters in Chikkodi constituency exercised their franchise.

According to sources in the District Election Office, polling passed off peacefully, though there were reports of boycott of voting in Hunnal village of Rajdurg taluk for a while and a verbal clash between workers of the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) in Belgaum. Voters in Hunnal had initially decided to boycott polling in protest against the failure of the governments to solve the problems confronting their village. However, the villagers came out of their homes and cast their votes.

Verbal clash

The day witnessed a verbal clash between the workers of Congress and the Janata Dal(S) in Belgaum city. However, the Janata Dal(S) candidate, who was present at the scene, pacified the two groups.

In the morning, the voting process was delayed for about half an hour due to a technical snag in the voting machine at a polling station in Visvesvaraya Nagar in Belgaum city.

Though a long wait of 22 days before the voting machines are opened for counting is bound to give sleepless nights to the contestants, what worries the BJP candidate, Suresh C. Angadi, is the low voter turnout.

The following is the assembly-wise break-up of polling: Belgaum Lok Sabha Constituency — Arabhavi 59.8 per cent, Gokak 54.42, Beglaum North 54.18, Belgaum South 48.5, Belgaum Rural 53, Bailhongal 58, Savadatti-Yallamma 61 and Ramdurg 61.01 per cent.

Chikkodi Lok Sabha Constituency: Nippani 59.90 per cent, Chikkodi-Sadalga 58.50 per cent, Athani 60.70 per cent, Kagwad 60.20 per cent, Kudachi (SC) 73 per cent, Raibag (SC) 68 per cent, Hukkeri 60.20 per cent and Yamkanmardi (ST) 69 per cent.

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