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Rediff.com  » News » Karnataka assembly poll ends with 70% turnout

Karnataka assembly poll ends with 70% turnout

Last updated on: May 12, 2018 20:14 IST

In what is projected as a tight race, voting was held in 222 out of 224 seats in a three-cornered contest. Now, counting of votes will take place on May 15. 

IMAGE: Two newly married couples show their ink-marked fingers after casting their votes for Karnataka assembly elections in Hubballi. Photograph: PTI Photo

The high-stakes Karnataka assembly elections saw a 70 per cent voter turnout today, the Election Commission said.

The last assembly election in 2013 had witnessed 71.4 per cent polling, it said.

The polling figure is likely to go up as some voters were still queued up at the polling stations after 6 pm.

IMAGE: Voters show their voting ID as they cast their vote for Karnataka Assembly elections in Hubballi on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photo

In what is projected as a tight race, voting was held in 222 out of 224 seats in a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, the BJP and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's Janata Dal- Secular.

Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray-- more than 2400 men and and over 200 women. There are a total of 5,06,90,538, voters of whom 2,56,75,579 male voters, 2,50,09,904 female and 5,055 transgender voters.

Counting of votes will take place on May 15.  

IMAGE: Sending a message of women empowerment, 450 all-women managed 'pink booths' called 'Sakhi' were set up in the election.Photograph: PTI Photo

Voters turned up in large numbers in the city and were seen standing in long queues to cast their franchise in the early hours in pleasant weather with rainfall last evening bringing down the temperature. 

Senior citizens were seen in good numbers standing in queues at various polling stations. 

IMAGE: An elderly man outside a polling booth after casting his vote in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

State BJP chief and party's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, and Pradesh Congress Committee chief G Parameshwara were among the first to cast their votes at Shikaripura in Shivamogga and Yaggere in Tumakuru respectively.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda along with wife Chennamma cast their votes at Paduvalahippe in Hassan district.

The seer of a prominent Lingayat seminary Siddhaganga Mutt, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, said to be 111-years-old, also cast his vote at a booth near the mutt premises.

Cricketer Rahul Dravid, the state election icon, another cricketer Anil Kumble, film actors Ramesh Arvind, Ravichandran and scion of Mysuru royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar were among the early voters.

IMAGE: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his son Yatindra cast their vote in Varuna. Photograph: @siddaramaiah/Twitter

Technical glitches in electronic voting machines delayed polling at several places in Bengaluru.

A bride in Madikeri cast her vote in wedding attire before attending the marriage ceremony.

At some places, "Thank You" cards were given to voters for exercising their franchise.

IMAGE: BJp's chief ministerial candidate shows his inked finger after casting his vote. Photograph: @BSYBJP/Twitter

From all-women managed 'Pink Booths' to the use of third generation electronic voting machines, the assembly elections in Karnataka a;so witnessed many firsts.

The country's IT hub saw electoral authorities initiate a slew of initiatives targeting a voting percentage of 75.

As the outcry about the alleged vulnerability of the EVMs to tampering grew louder, the Election Commission has come up with the 'M3 EVMs' that are tamper proof and stops when attempts are made to meddle with it.

IMAGE: JD-S state president H D Kumaraswamy and his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy show their inked fingers after casting their votes from Ramnagar. Photograph: PTI Photo

On a pilot basis, the Election commission chose five assembly constituencies in Bengaluru -- Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar, Gandhi Nagar and Rajaji Nagar in Bengaluru.

However, election to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar has been deferred owing to large scale malpractices and a row over seizure of over 9,750 voter ID cards from a flat.

The machine, according to sources in the office of the chief electoral officer, has features like display of battery status and digital certification. The machine can report about the malfunction on its own, they said.

IMAGE: Former cricket captain Anil Kumble, along with his family, shows his finger marked with indelible ink after casting votes for assembly elections in Bengaluru. Photograph: @anilkumble1074/Twitter

In a women-oriented step, 450 "pink booths" called 'Sakhi' have been set up.

Sending a message of women empowerment, they are entirely managed by women, right from the returning officer to the security personnel, the sources said.

Adding a riot of colours, the EC has set up ethnic polling booths in Mysuru, Chamarajnagar and Uttar Kannada districts where polling booths match the lifestyle of tribal masses living there.

Like in every election, each booth is equipped with facilities such as wheelchairs for the differently-abled to exercise their franchise easily.

IMAGE: Union Minister Ananth Kumar with his family show their inked finger after casting their ballot in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

In one of the most bitter electoral battles the state has ever seen, the ruling Congress and the BJP went all out to woo voters during their acrimonious campaign that saw the top leaders of both parties criss crossing the state.

Election for the Jayanagara seat in Bengaluru has been countermanded following the death of BJP candidate and sitting MLA B N Vijaykumar.

IMAGE: The scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, waits in a queue to cast his ballot in Mysore. Photograph: PTI Photo

The Election Commission has also deferred the polls for Rajarajeswari Nagar constituency to May 28 after a massive row erupted over a large number of voter ID cards being found in an apartment.

Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray-- more than 2400 men and and over 200 women. 

IMAGE: An elderly woman being taken to cast her vote during polling day for the Karnataka assembly election 2018. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

The total voters including service electors according to the 2018 final rolls are 5,06,90,538, of whom 2,56,75,579 male voters, 2,50,09,904 female and 5,055 transgender voters.

Officials said 58,008 polling stations have been set up across the state, of which 12002 have been designated as "critical", with over 3,50,000 polling personnel on duty. 

IMAGE: BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote. Photograph: ANI/Twitter

Police had made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of polls.

"82,157 people have been deployed for poll duty that includes DSPs, home guards and civil defence, and forest guards and watchers," Karnataka DGP Neelamani N Raju said. 

IMAGE: janata Dal-Secular's HD Deve Gowda, his wife Chennamma Deve Gowda flash their finger after voting. Photograph: ANI/Twitter

It also includes about 7,500 personnel from states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Kerala and Goa, she said, adding, central forces have been deployed.

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