70 pc turnout in ULB polls

Fate of 21,974 candidates sealed

70 pc turnout in ULB polls

Around 70 per cent of the eligible voters cast their ballot in Thursday’s polling for 208 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), including seven city corporations. The polling was peaceful.

The elections, considered a barometer to gauge public mood ahead of the Assembly polls in May, will be a litmus test for all major political parties, and will decide the fate of 21,974 candidates.

According to the information compiled from various districts, around 70 per cent of the total 85 lakh electorate exercised their franchise. The polling percentage is bound to increase when the final figures are compiled by the State Election Commission.

Tumkur district, which comprises three City Municipal Councils (CMCs), four Town Municipal Councils (TMCs) and three Town Panchayats (TPs), witnessed the highest turnout of 80.43 per cent. Counting of votes has been scheduled on March 11.
Among the city corporations, Bellary recorded the highest voting percentage of 67.44.

Bangalore did not go to the polls as the tenure of the BBMP will expire in 2014.  The BJP, which had opposed the polls, cried foul on the election day, stating that more than 20 per cent of the eligible voters were not able to exercise their franchise since their names did not feature in the voters’ list.

Such irregularities also led to heated exchanges between workers of different parties in the Gulbarga, Belgaum and Bellary city corporations and the ULBs at Ron and Nargund. In Raichur, there were reports of stone throwing by party workers who had opposed the presence of outsiders in the ULB. The  Congress had fielded the highest number of candidates (4,492), followed by the BJP ( 3,954) and the JD(S) (3,651). A total number of 4,867 wards went to the polls.

The two new regional parties, the BSR Congress of B Sriramulu and the Karnataka Janata Party of B S Yeddyurappa, tested political waters for the first time. The outcome of the elections will reveal the impact of the outfits on the State’s political landscape.

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