Polling for elections to zilla, taluk panchayat peaceful

Voter enthusiasm picks up by afternoon in many places

Polling for elections to zilla, taluk panchayat peaceful

 The polling for taluk and zilla panchayat elections in the State was largely peaceful on Saturday barring stray incidents of violence.

In the first phase of elections, the voting was held in the districts of Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Belagavi, Haveri, Bagalakot, Uttara Kannada, Dharwad and Gadag. Bengaluru Urban (North, North additional, South, East, Anekal) recorded 69.29 pc, Bengaluru Rural (Hoskote, Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Nelamangala) 83.84 pc polling.

During the early part of the day, votes literally trickled in. At 9 am, only 6.7 pc votes were cast in Bengaluru Rural, which went up to 15.83 pc by 11 am; 36.08 pc by 1 pm; and 52.32 pc by 3 pm. In Bengaluru Urban, only 10 pc votes were cast by 9 am, which went up to 22 pc in 11 am; 37 pc by 1 pm; and 51 pc by 3 pm.

A large police force was deployed at Bindaganahalli and Sulibele polling stations in Hoskote, where the superintendent of police himself kept watch on the polling process. As notorious  rowdy sheeter Srinivasmurthy aka Kadabgere Seena had entered the fray in Nelamangala ZP, authorities, anticipating untoward incidents, had made tight security arrangements.   

Yesteryear actress Leel­avathi, who was recently hospitalised owing to ill health, cast her vote at Mailanahalli in Nelamangala. Polling however wasn’t without incidents in the 13 other districts. Tension prevailed in some parts, with altercations being reported.

State Election Commissioner P N Sreenivasachari said that he has sought reports from such districts. He also said that according to the early reports, repolling would be held in only one polling booth on February 15.

Polling officials are said to have mixed up the ballot papers, as a result of which, ballot paper of Manamane taluk panchayat had made way into polling station 66 in Halageri in Siddapura, Uttar Kannada.

Tension in Dharwad

Tension prevailed in Hebballi, Dharwad district, following the arrest of BJP candidate Yogishgouda Goudar, with authorities briefly detaining BJP leaders Pralhad Joshi and Jagadish Shettar who demanded that Gowda be released immediately.

Police also said that two vehicles were torched.

Home Guard assaulted

A home guard was assaulted in Donavada village in Chikkodi taluk of Belagavi when he tried to stop distribution of money to voters. Also, two tahsildars were subjected to medical examination on the suspicion that they were inebriated in Khanapur taluk in the district.

Clashes were reported between party workers of JD(S) and Congress in Shidlaghatta in Chikkaballapur, while BJP and Congress workers struck at each other in Suranagollanahalli taluk in Chitradurga. Voters have boycotted elections in districts including Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Belagavi, Shivamogga.

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