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People recovering from natural calamity hangover vote

Venkatesh, a patient suffering from paralysis, exercised his franchise at the polling booth at the Government Junior College, Somwarpet.

Voting for the 17th Lok Sabha elections was peaceful in the district on Thursday.

The district registered a poll percentage of 74.08%.

Recovering after a round of serious natural calamity, voters turned up at good numbers amid malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and confusions caused by missing of names in the voters’ list.

The future of the candidates is now locked in the electronic voting machines. There is a month to go for the results to be revealed.

New voters

The voting took to start at most of the booths at 7 am in Madikeri. Although the voting process made a brisk beginning, it slowed down in the afternoon but sped up again in the evening.

Voters of second Monnangeri, which suffered the highest losses during the flash floods and landslides, cast their votes without fail. People from other affected places – such as Sampaje, Madenadu, Koinadu, Hattihole, Haraduru, Garaganduru, Madapura and Makkanduru – too, exercised their duty. Second Monnangeri recorded 88% voting.

There were 10 ‘Sakhi’ booths, five ethnic booths and one PWD booth set up in the district. There was a low turnout at the PWD booth set up in Taluk Panchayat office in Madikeri.

Webcasting was done to ensure fair voting process in the selected 30 polling booths. Wheelchairs were provided for the convenience of senior citizens and physically challenged.

‘Sakhi’ booths

The ‘Sakhi’ polling booths were decorated with colourful welcome arches and balloons.

The Government Model Primary School in Kushalnagar, St Michael School and Blossom High School in Madikeri, St Anthony Higher Primary School in Suntikoppa, Government Model Primary School in Koodige, St Annamma High School in Virajpet, Government Higher Primary Urdu School in Panjarapete, Samudaya Bhavana in Telugara Beedi, Government Higher Primary School, Bittangala and Samudaya Bhavana in Sunkadakatte were identified as ‘Sakhi’ booths.

Women were in majority numbers in ‘Sakhi’ booths.

Tight vigil

There were 144 polling booths in the district situated in regions affected by human-elephant conflict.

Following speculations of wild elephant menace, the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the Forest Department assisted the voters to their polling booths in Titimati, Mayamudi and Devarapura regions.

High precaution was maintained at Devarapura Devarakadu tribal hamlet as the place is known for the movement of wild elephants. Wednesday night, the team had driven elephants which were spotted at Nelyahudikeri and Guhya regions.

BSF personnel were also deployed at the polling booths in Vanachalu, Koinadu, Sampaje and Bhagamangala which comes under Maoist-infested regions.

Prominent people

Former Minister M C Nanaiah cast his vote at St Michael School.

MLA Appacchu Ranjan was the first voter at the polling booth situated at the Government Higher Primary School in Kumbur village. He was present during the mock polling and gathered information from the booth level officers.

Former minister B A Jeevijaya and his spouse Saroja cast their votes at the polling booth at the Government School, Biligeri. Former Minister Suma Vasanth cast her vote at government Model Primary school in Titimati.

Centenarian Nagamma cast her vote in the same booth. A Venktesh, a physically challenged, too, cast his vote.

Officer falls ill

Polling staff K M Appanna suffered a paralysis attack in the afternoon while he was on polling duty at the booth number 164 in Mahila Samaja.

He was immediately shifted to the community health centre in Kushalnagar and was later shifted to the district hospital in Madikeri for necessary treatment. Alternative polling personal was deployed to resume the polling process.

S M Dhanush, a resident of Karkalli village in Somwarpet, a first-time voter said he was happy to perform his duty as a voter. Voting is a significant step in strengthening the democracy, he said, after casting his vote at Government Model Primary School in Somwarpet.

Only two voters

In a peculiar case of its kind, the polling booth number 201 in Ganaguru set up in Madenuru zonal forest officer’s office in Virajpet, had only two registered voters. These two voters cast their votes at 11.30 am.

Mithili Muttamma, a first-time voter came from Mangaluru to exercise her franchise, amid her examinations. Her mother gifted Rs 5,000 to her, for Mithili’s gesture.

Shoot versus vote

Actor Rashmika Mandanna, who is from Kodagu, did not cast her vote at booth number 157 at Panjarapete in Virajpet.

She was busy with the shooting of a film, it is said.

There was a dull response from voters in Shanivarasanthe. Although there was a slow pace of voting process in the morning, it got accelerated in the afternoon.

Women turned up in less numbers.

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