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K'taka records 69 pc voter turnout as polling ends

Last updated on: May 5, 2013 21:01 IST

K'taka records 69 pc voter turnout as polling ends

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Vicky Nanjappa

An estimated 69 per cent of the about 4.36 crore electorate voted in the largely peaceful assembly polls in Karnataka on Sunday amid projections that the beleaguered ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was on a sticky wicket against a resurgent Congress.

The polling percentage in Bangalore alone was at 52 per cent, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Jha informed the media.

Post pictures of voting in Karnataka

Jha also said that as of now there was no indication of a re-poll in any of the constituencies. "All the presiding officers at booths have submitted their diaries to me. I will study all of them and give you an exact indication if re-polling would be needed in any of the booths. A decision can be expected by tomorrow (Monday)," he added.

Voting took place in the state amid tight security on Sunday.

Voting commenced on a very slow note despite the Election Commission advancing the time by an hour. Polling commenced at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. At 5.30 pm the voting percentage was at 61.

Bangalore was in fact the slowest to vote. The city witnessed only a 41 per cent turnout till 3 pm but later caught up.

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Photographs: Graphic: KBK

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Voting took place for 223 seats. The elections for the one seat at Periyapatana was postponed for May 28 after one of the candidates in the fray passed away.

There were nearly 1.30 lakh police personnel on duty across the state, which included the local police, paramilitary forces and home guards. The fate of 3000 candidates was decided on Sunday.

Barring sporadic incidents, including one at Bellary, the voting was largely peaceful.

Breakaway parties -- Karnataka Janata Party of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and BSR Congress formed by former Minister B Sriramulu -- are projected to dent the prospects of the BJP, already battered by intra-party fights and allegations of corruption.

Pre-poll surveys have predicted that the Congress is all set to emerge as the single largest party or be at a striking distance of coming to power in the elections.

The strength of BJP, which won 110 seats in the 2008 elections, is forecast to come down by more than half, and that of JDS to improve by a dozen seats compared to 28 the last time around.

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The police have arrested four persons who were openly wielding swords in the district headquarters town of Kolar, adding that a major clash was averted between supporters of an independent and a political party.

At Sidlagatta in Chikkaballapura district, one person sustained serious injuries after being attacked by supporters of another party. In a Bellary booth, a voter was allegedly hit by a policeman over a trivial issue and sustained injuries in the ear.

The results of the much-awaited elections will be announced on May 8. The BJP is seeking another chance in the state after completing its five-year tenure in which three chief ministers were appointed.

The Congress is expecting to put up a good show and is banking heavily on displeasure expressed by the voters towards the BJP. The Janata Dal-Secular is most likely to play the kingmaker as the trends indicate that it would be a hung assembly. Also, the fate of Yeddyurappa is at stake. His Karnataka Janata Party is contesting 224 seats in the polls.

In the 2008 elections to the total of 224 seats, the BJP, with 33.86 per cent of the votes polled, secured 110 seats, followed by the Congress (34.59) 80 seats and JDS (19.13) 28 seats.

While the overall voter turnout was 64.91 per cent in the 2008 elections, the average in the 28 segments of Bangalore was a low 47.3 per cent. The lowest in Bangalore was in Sarvajnanagar at 35.40 per cent.




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