First round of GP polls today

1.16 lakh candidates in fray

An electorate of 1.26 crore will decide the fortunes of 1.16 lakh candidates in fray for 39,807 GP wards. Polling will be held between 7 am and 5 pm. As many as 3,941 candidates have been elected unopposed.

State Election Commission Secretary D K Ravindranath said preparations for the smooth conduct of the polls have been completed. As many as 85,000 polling officials have been deployed.

Although elections to Grama Panchyats are conducted on a non-party basis, political parties are fully involved in the election, as a firm foothold in GPs is essential for any political party for succeeding in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The members elected to Grama Panchayats in the ensuing polls will hold office when the polls to the 14th Karnataka Legislative Assembly and 16th Lok Sabha are held.

Polling will be held in 16,965 booths, of which 5,440 have been declared sensitive and 5,736 as hyper-sensitive. A total of 19,397 civil police personnel of various ranks are deployed for election bandobust duties in addition to armed police personnel.

More than 150 platoons of KSRP have been deployed. As many as 15,350 Home Guards have been pressed into election security services. Eight companies from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been deployed in sensitive areas including naxal-affected districts.

Districts that will go to polls during first phase include Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Kolar, Chikaballapur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Bidar,

Bellary, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, and Udupi and Karkal taluks of Udupi district. The second phase of the GP polls will be held on May 12. Counting of votes will be taken up simultaneously for both the phases on May 17.

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