93,678 exercise their franchise; fate of 93 candidates sealed

93,678 exercise their franchise; fate of 93 candidates sealed

Council election: Impressive turnout

93,678 exercise their franchise; fate of 93 candidates sealed

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, State Chief Electoral Officer C S Suranjana said as per initial reports received by his office as many as 90,209 out of total 93,678 electorate had exercised their franchise. The total voters’ turnout is likely to increase by two percentage points when the final figures are complied, he pointed out. The 2003 polls recorded a polling percentage of 98.45.

The polling, which will decide the political fortune of 93 candidates including 21 BJP nominees, 16 Congress, eight JD(S), besides 44 independents, remained peaceful and by and large incident-free, Suranjana said.

The political who is who in the state turned out to vote as the electoral college for the polls comprise members of the Assembly, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha besides members of city corporations, city municipal councils, town municipal councils, town panchayats, zilla panchayats, taluk panchayats, gram panchayats, and nominated members.

While Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa cast his vote from Shikaripura, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda exercised his franchise from his native Holenarisipura in Hassan district.

Two constituencies - Bidar and Chitradurga - clocked 99 per cent polling, followed by Shimoga, Uttara Kannada and Bangalore (98 pc). Belgaum, which has the maximum number of voters (8,809), witnessed 95 per cent polling.

All the gram panchayat members of Kadampura village in Mundargi taluk and a village in Basavana Bagevadi taluk boycotted the polls in protest over local issues. A minor clash between JD(S) and BJP workers has been reported from Devadurga taluk.

The polls will decide the electoral fortune of  former ministers Basavaraj Patil Humnabad (Bidar-BJP), Veerakumar Patil (Belgaum - Congress), T John (Kodagu- Congress), Producer of Kannada super hit film Mungaru Male E Krishnappa, and former legislator Mahima Patel among others. As many as 10 sitting MLCs are seeking re-election.

Straight fight

The polls witnessed straight fights between the BJP and the JD(S) and the BJP and the Congress thanks to the electoral alliance between the two rivals of the saffron party.

Preferential system of voting is adopted for the Council polls. The electorate votes by writing the figure ‘1’ opposite the name of the candidate he/she has chosen as first preference. The electorate can indicate further preferences for the remaining candidates.

The ballot papers for the polls had only names but no party symbols.  The electorate had to mark their preferential votes in the ballot paper using a violet sketch pen supplied by the returning officer. Counting of votes will begin at 8 am on December 21.

Sitting BJP MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary and Congress candidate Pratapchandra Shetty have already been declared unopposed to the Legislative Council from the Dakshina Kannada local authorities constituency.

Per centage

*   Bidar                        99
*  Chitradurga                99
*  Shimoga                    98
* Uttara Kannada            98
*  Bangalore                   98
*  Dharwad                    97
* Bellary                        97
*  Bijapur                       96
*  Raichur                      96
*  Tumkur                      96
*  Kolar                         96
*  Gulbarga                    95
*  Belgaum                     95
*  Hassan                      95
*  Mandya                     95
* Bangalore Rural            95
*  Mysore                      95                           
*  Kodagu                      93