Polling likely to touch 70 p.c. in Dharwad district

ENTHUSIASTIC:Women queuing up in front of a polling station to cast their votes at Dhummavada village in Kalghatgi taluk on Wednesday.  

Staff Correspondent

It started on a quiet note and people began arriving after 10.30 a.m.

HUBLI: Polling to elect 1,616 members in 120 gram panchayats of Dharwad district concluded peacefully on Wednesday with people enthusiastically participating in the democratic process.

There was no untoward incident in the entire district. Although there were reports about a few minor altercations between followers of candidates, they were immediately sorted out by local leaders and the police personnel on duty.

Deputy Commissioner and Election Officer of Dharwad Darpan Jain said that polling had been peaceful and the process of casting votes went on smoothly.

He said polling had to be stopped for 10 minutes at Kotur village as the ballot box became full.

The presiding officer immediately made arrangements for another ballot box and polling went on smoothly thereafter.

According to preliminary reports, polling in the district was likely to be put at 70 per cent, he said.

Polling in the district started on a quiet note and the crowds started arriving at the booths after 10.30 a.m. In some polling stations, polling began with a few local people offering puja to the ballot boxes.

In places such as Kanavi Honnapur in Dharwad taluk, Devalingikoppa, Dhummawada, Mishrikoti, Soorashettikoppa in Kalghatgi taluk, a good number of people were seen queuing up before the polling stations in the forenoon.

Even after exercising their votes, many were seen around the polling stations discussing about who could be the winner.

Around a few polling stations there was a fair-like atmosphere with street vendors selling eatables and ice creams.

A seventh standard student, Vinayak N. Mushennavar, was roaming around at Devalingikoppa in Kalghatgi taluk making an appeal to the people to vote for his grandfather by sporting a paper badge. Several children were seen with such badges of other candidates also.

In some villages, arrangements had been made for providing food to the voters after they cast their votes. Election Observer for the district G. Siddappa seized food items from a house at Dhummawada village in Kalghatgi taluk after he was informed about free distribution of food and tea near the polling station.