DK registers 66.24 pc polling, peaceful

Sullia registers record 80.10 pc polling while MCC registers 63.33 per cent, lowest in district

 The elections for seven Urban Local Bodies in Dakshina Kannada district was held peacesfully on Thursday, except for a few minor confusions in some of the polling booths. The polling process was in turtle speed till afternoon in most of the wards and gained momentum in the evening as the deadline for polling approached.

Dakshina Kannada district registered a total of 66.24 per cent voting. While Sullia registered highest percentage of polling (80.10), MCC registered lowest poll percentage with 63.33 per cent voters exercising their franchise.

There were no long queues in many of the polling booths in Mangalore City Corporation limits between 9 am and 3 pm, as most of the voters thronged at the booths during early morning and in the evening. The total voting percentage in Mangalore City Corporation which was 13 at 9 am, jumped to 28 per cent by 11 am, 41 per cent at 1 pm and 51 per cent by 3 pm. Though no major untoward incidents were recorded during the polls, confusions regarding voters list, usage of mobile phones, break down of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), violation of code of conduct prevailed at some of the polling booths.

Errors and deletion of names from the voters list was largely prevalant in the polling booths, resulting in voters retrurning from the booth with disappaointed faces. In a polling station at Kodialbail ward (ward No. 30), 37 voters returned without casting votes as their names were deleted from the voters list. The voters who have shifted their residence from Kodialbail ward, were unaware of enrolling their names in the ward where they stay at present.  

When Deccan Herald correspondent visited a polling station in Katipalla East ward (ward No. 3), the help desk volunteers representing a political party, complained about several mistakes in the voters list. “In this polling station (P.S No.12) alone, we have traced over 150 errors in voters list including errors in names, address, photographs and age.

However, we helped the polling officers to identify the voters and ensured that no citizen returns without casting their votes,” said a help desk volunteer. Some of the presiding officers had confusion over allowing citizens with Aadhar card as identity proof, to vote. As the list released by the Election Commission, consisting of 21 identity proofs which could be considered for voting, did not include Aadhar, the presiding officers had to clarify with higher authorities on the same.

A fake vote incident was registered at a polling booth in Katipalla.
Two women bearing the same identity card cast votes and the the voting by second woman was considered as ‘tender vote.’

Commotion at Port ward

Commotion broke out at Badriya School in Port ward, when a group of around 25 female students from the city based nursing colleges arrived at the polling station to cast their votes. The students who had brought along with them identity proofs issued by their college principals, were all set to cast votes, when members of a political party raised objection against them casting votes. The agitators complained that the girl students who are the residents of Kerala, and are staying in the city for over a year for study purpose, should not be allowed to vote. They questioned the authorities for allowing ‘outsiders’ to vote, when several names of the residents of the war are left out from the voters list. However, the issue was then clamed down and the sudents were allowed to vote as their names were in the voters list.

EVMs break down

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) broke down in some of the polling stations, halting the election process for some time. An EVM at P.S No, 135 (Padua West ward) went off in the morning after 100 votes were cast. The control unit was changed in half an hour and the polling process resumed. An EVM also stopped functioning due to link error in P.S No 371 (Jeppu-Mahakalipadpu ward) and the process resumed after an hour with the replacement of the machine.

Violation of code of conduct

Despite the district administration issuing election code of conduct, violation cases were found in a few polling booths. As per the rule, no help desk should be installed by the political parties within 200 meters radius of the polling booth. But some of the political parties opened their help desks within 200 meters radius, apparently due to space constraints.

One such incident was traced in St Agnes College premises. Soon after a group raised the issue, the desk was shifted outside, ensuring that the desk is not visible from the polling booths. All the violation cases pertaining to help desk and fixing party flags were set right by 10 am.

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