Vote count over, parties make tall claims

Gram Panchayat polls: A day of action as the verdict comes out

Vote count over, parties make tall claims

charged: Police caning enthusiastic supporters of GP candidates at a counting centre in  Bellary on Monday. dh Photo

Though the elections were not contested on party basis, a majority of the contestants owed their allegiance to one or the other party. It is this identity that has prompted political parties to make claims of establishing control over the Gram Panchayats.

The results for all contested seats and category-wise tally would be known only on Tuesday, State Election Commission officials said. More than 80 per cent of the 2.51 crore electorate exercised the franchise in the two-phase elections.

State BJP president K S Eshwarappa claimed that his party’s supporters would win at least 60 per cent of the 80,159 seats in 5,474 Gram Panchayats. On the other hand, JD(S) spokesperson YSV Datta claimed his party was making inroads in Bagalkot, Haveri and other districts of  north Karnataka, considered to be bastions of the BJP.  He said his party supporters were poised to win at least 40 per cent of the total seats.

KPCC President R V Deshpande went one up on both Eshwarappa and Datta. He asserted that his party supporters were faring beyond expectations across all districts.
The counting process had its own share of drama and colour. There were reports of single digit victory margins in many places. In many places the police resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse irrate crowds.

The final results of a ward in Belthangadi GP was decided by draw of lots as two candidates were tied at the end of the counting. In Shivapura GP of Chamarajnagar, a husband-wife duo won their respective seats. Jeethendra Shetty, a candidate for Vadalapura Gram Panchayat in Shimoga district, was not there to celebrate his victory  -- he died a couple of days after the polling.

One vote

Ramagowda of Nandagudi GP in Bangalore rural district won by a margin of one vote. The returning officer had first declared a tie between Ramegowda and another candidate N Ganesh. Both candidates sought recounting and in the final count Ramegowda secured 306 votes to Ganesh’s 305.

Forty-year-old Kuberappa of Mudhol GP in Koppal district attempted suicide following his defeat in the polls. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

In Tumkur, the police prevented supporters of a particular party from entering a countering centre. Delay in the start of counting led candidates and their supporters to stage protests at two counting centres at Hassan.

Two incidents of lathi charge were reported from Hoskote taluk counting area. In one incident, the police took to lathi charge after a stone hurled at them hit a constable.
In another incident, the police had to use batons to push back a surging crowd. There were celebrations outside the counting centres as supporters of candidates greeted each other and distributed sweets after the results were announced. The victorious candidates were taken out in processions in some places.

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