At 67.28 pc, State logs 3rd best LS poll turnout

At 67.28 pc, State logs 3rd best LS poll turnout

Karnataka recorded an overall voting percentage of 67.28 per cent, the third highest in the history of parliamentary elections in the State, in the single-phase polling held for all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies on Thursday.

Bangalore urban, which comprises mainly the three LS seats of Bangalore South, Bangalore North and Bangalore Central, recorded an average 56 per cent voting.

The highest voting figure was reached by the State in 1999 parliamentary elections with 67.58 per cent. The next best poll percentage was in 1989, at 67.53 per cent. Compared to 2009 LS polls, the current turnout shows a 9.2 per cent increase.

According to the final voting percentage released by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, on Friday, Dakshina Kannada (DK) recorded the highest polling of 77.18 per cent, followed by Chikkaballapur at 76.06 per cent and Kolar at 75.50 per cent. DK had recorded 74.54 per cent turnout in 2009 elections.

However, in absolute numbers of voters who came out and exercised their franchise, Bangalore Rural topped the charts, followed by Bangalore North, Chikkaballapur and Dakshina Kannada.

Another interesting feature of this election is  women voters overtaking their male counterparts in Udupi-Chikmagalur and  Dakshina Kannada constituencies.

Senior Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary is contesting against sitting BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel in Dakshina Kannada, while Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) and former minister B N Bachegowda of the BJP are locked in a triangular contest in Chikkaballapur. In Udupi-Chikmagalur, former ministers Shobha Karandlaje of BJP and Jayaprakash Hegde of Congress are main rivals.

Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North constituencies are at the bottom of the list. Bangalore South registered the lowest turnout of 55.69 per cent, Bangalore Central 55.70 per cent and Bangalore North 56.47 per cent. However, there is considerable increase in the turnout compared to 2009 LS elections.

Bangalore South recorded only 44.74 per cent voting in 2009.

Ironically, these constituencies witnessed high-decibel campaign for over a month. Bangalore South, in particular, is a keenly watched constituency in the entire country where Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani (Cong) and five-time MP Ananth Kumar (BJP) are in a straight fight. In Bangalore Central, youth Congress leader Rizwan Arshad has taken on the sitting BJP MP P C Mohan. Former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda (BJP) and senior Congress leader C Narayanaswamy are fighting for Bangalore North seat.

Among the Assembly segments, Hoskote in Chikkaballapur parliamentary constituency polled the highest votes at 85.90 per cent, followed by Sullia in Dakshina Kannada parliamentary constituency with 84.42 per cent. Raichur Assembly segment witnessed the lowest turnout of 51.44 per cent, followed by Sarvajnanagar in Bangalore Central parliamentary constituency with 52 per cent.

Counting

Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said all preparations have been made for counting of votes on May 16. Central paramilitary personnel have been deployed for the safekeeping of the Electronic Voting Machines stored across the 28 parliamentary constituencies, he added.

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