Inclement weather no hurdle for voters

Inclement weather no hurdle for voters

Despite the sun beating down harshly and downpours in some places, the voter spirit prevailed in the State on Thursday.

There was brisk polling in the morning hours in the North Karnataka constituencies, including the urban pockets of the Dharwad constituency, as people wanted to avoid the scorching sun. There was more enthusiasm among voters in rural areas. 

The voting slowed down by 11 am and picked up only after 3 pm. The booths had registered 30 per cent voting by 11 am. The slum areas recorded a good 40 per cent by 12 pm. The voter facilitation centres at the booths proved a hit.

In Bagalkot, people made it to the polling stations in large numbers in the evening, despite the heavy rain. In Bidar district, a ceiling fan snapped to the ground at booth number 155 in Humnabad. The cable of the electronic voting machine got cut, leading to voting being halted for almost an hour. It resumed after the glitch was fixed. 

In Bijapur district, workers from the 170 Lambani tandas who had migrated to places like Kolhapur and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and to Goa returned home on Thursday to exercise their franchise. Rainwater stagnated at the main entrance to the polling station at KEB Colony School in Raichur. This forced voters to jump over the water to enter the polling booth.

Residents threw stones at the polling booth at Konkal village, following  a duel with the security personnel on duty in the afternoon. 

Konkal comes under the Gurmitkal Assembly segment of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency. Police brought the situation under control. Two persons died while returning home after casting their votes in Surpur taluk. They are Manappa Bagali, 50, of Devapur and Devappa Pujari of Chandalapur.

There were allegations of polling officials ‘forcing’ voters to choose a particular candidate, at a few booths of the Gokak Assembly constituency under the Belgaum Lok sabha seat. Congress and BJP workers clashed at Melmatti in Gokak taluk. But the voting was not affected. 

Election offi cials allowed tender ballot voting for a voter in Kamalapur of Hospet taluk (Bellary seat), as someone else had already cast his vote. The fishing industry came to a total halt in Karwar as a holiday was declared by fishermen’s bodies, allowing the fishermen to visit their places to exercise their franchise.

The booth at the Kuvempu Model School at Malur in Thirthahalli taluk of Shimoga district was decked up with mango leaves, plantain leaves and flowers. The canopy so formed welcomed voters and provided them shelter from the sun. The parties had made the arrangements.

Voting was peaceful in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies, including in places that are usually prone to communal violence. Naxal-hit places recorded good polling percentage. There were rains in some places.

There was peaceful voting in the constituencies of the Old Mysore region. In Kodagu district that comes under Mysore-Kodagu constituency, voters exercised their franchise, despite rain.Inked on wrong finger

Despite clear direction from the Election Commission of India to apply the indelible ink on the left hand thumb of the voters, the poll officials of booth number 48 near Valmiki Circle in the city had applied the ink on the index finger of some of the voters, before correcting their mistake.

Among the voters who were marked on the wrong finger were sitting MP from Bellary, J Shantha, and her husband Nagaraj who came to vote at the polling booth at around 9.30 am. 

When the issue came to the notice of the election officer, the booth officers were asked to apply the ink on the left hand thumb of the voters. When BJP candidate B Sriramulu cast his vote at around 10 am, he was marked correctly on the thumb.

“During the two-phase training, the polling staff were told to mark the index finger. The poll panel’s latest order on the change of finger did not come to our notice, leading to the confusion,” a polling booth staff said.

Meanwhile, A 67-year-old woman died of a cardiac arrest immediately after returning home from the polling booth. Nanjamma, a resident of Uttaradimutt, died soon after casting her vote at Srikanth School in Mysore. 

Sundaramma, (60), collapsed and breathed her last at her residence immediately after voting at H Mokkalli in Chamarajanagar taluk. It is said that Sundaramma had visited the polling booth at 8 am to cast her vote.

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