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Karnataka: Many villages boycott polls
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | May 16, 2008 10:46 IST
Last Updated: May 16, 2008 12:01 IST
The second phase of the elections is considered to be important for the Bharatiya Janata Party which pins its hopes to stake a claim to form the government.
Polling has been by and large peaceful until now. However, several villages have boycotted the polls entirely in protest against the discrimination shown to their villages where providing basic amenities was concerned.
While the first phase largely belonged to the Congress and the JD(S), the second phase, according to poll pundits, is expected to swing the BJP way, considering the large number of Lingayat voters.
The prime constituencies in the second phase are Shikaripura, Bellary, and coastal Karnataka.
B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP is in a must-win situation in Shikaripura against a strong rival, S Bangarappa of the Samajwadi Party, who has an enviable poll record.
Bellary, which had recorded a 10 per cent turnout till 10 am, will also be a key constituency with the BJP trying to retain the mining belt. The BJP will also be put to an acid test in coastal Karnataka where the Congress hopes to reverse its fortunes.
The issue of regional imbalance will play a key factor as the rest of Karnataka feels that Bangalore has been preferred over the rest of the state.
Signs of discontent are evident in the second phase with several villages in Karnataka boycotting the polls. Residents of three villages in Chitradurga boycotted the elections on the ground that basic amenities had not been provided. The villagers say that since time immemorial, they have been voicing their problems, but no action has been taken. They say poll boycott is the only option.