Polling peaceful in Mysuru

Tentative turnout calculated at 80 pc; 920 candidates in fray

The elections to Zilla and Taluk Panchayats in Mysuru district on Saturday, reportedly witnessed a turnout of 75 per cent. During the last minutes of voting, a total of 9.89 lakh voters (69.09 pc), including five lakh men and 4.89 lakh women, had exercised their franchise against the total electorate of 14.32 lakh.

The percentage may have exceeded by another six to 10 per cent, touching 80 pc, when the last reports came in after the de-mustering of electronic voting machines (EVMs), close to midnight hours.

Barring a few stray incidents, the election was peaceful, with the fate of a total of 920 candidates, including 229 candidates for 49 ZP seats and 691 for 187 TP seats, sealed in the electronic voting machines. The counting of votes will be taken up at all seven taluk headquarters, including Mysuru, on February 23.

During the initial hours, the voting was poor. Even after two hours (at 9 am), the total percentage was 5.48. A total of 46,451 men had cast votes, against 32,050 women. However, by 1 pm, the voting percentage increased by 25 per cent and it touched 30.97 per cent. The upward trend continued as the percentage increased by another 20 per cent, reaching 50.25 per cent, at 3 pm.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, a native of Siddaramanahundi in Mysuru district, cast his vote at booth number 329 at the Government Higher Primary School in the village. While his Cabinet colleague and PWD Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa exercised his franchise at Hadinaru village, another prominent leader, Revenue and Mysuru district In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad didn’t cast his vote, as he is a resident of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) limits.

In spite of the instructions, the election was not devoid of unsavoury incidents. A political party leader offered puja to the EVM by applying vermillion and decorating it with flowers at a booth in Hinkal village in Mysuru taluk. The booth was set up at the Government Higher Primary School in the village. A leader who entered the booth during the onset of voting at 7 am, performed the ritual.

However, quoting personnel on election duty, Tahsildar Naveen Joseph told Deccan Herald, there was no such religious practice inside the booth. “Not willing to take any chances, a notice will be served on polling officer,” he said.

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