Kodagu: Polling peaceful in 1st phase of GP elections

Kodagu: Polling peaceful in 1st phase of GP polls

Voters made a beeline in front of the polling booth in Seventh Hosakote near Suntikoppa.

Long queues in front of the polling booths in the district, suggested enthusiastic participation of rural citizens in the voting process in the Gram Panchayat elections, on Tuesday.

The candidates did their last attempt to woo voters by displaying their symbols and persuading people to elect them for the progress of the village.

The supporters of the candidates had put up stalls at a distance of 200 metres from the polling booth.

Except for small confusions, the voting was almost peaceful. The voters were seen marching towards the polling booths with an enthusiastic mood.

Probably for the first time in the coffee valley, the local elections were taken seriously by the people.

Especially, there was a brisk activity in the regions having a dense population of plantation workers. The interest of the voters was higher compared to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

A voter from Suntikoppa said that a young man from his locality had contested for the Gram Panchayat elections for the first time and the voters in the ward have cast their vote.

A beeline was witnessed in front of the polling booths in Kedakal, Madapura, Kumburu, Seventh Hosakote, Guddehosuru and Harangi.

People working outside the district had come to their native to exercise their franchise. Most of the voters turned up at the polling booths along with their family. Even though there was less attendance at the polling booths in the afternoon, the turn out was high between 3 pm and 4 pm.

Social distancing

Despite the booth officials repeatedly trying to convince the voters, the people forgot social distancing in most of the polling booths. Lack of social distancing was clearly evident.

In Madikeri, there was a voting percentage of 14.90% by 9 am, 31.05% by 11 am, 50.13% by 1 pm and 62.21% by 3 pm.

Rules flouted

In some places, the candidates were seen providing refreshments and lunch to voters, to allure them.

Some candidates ferried the voters in their vehicles from their houses to the polling booths.

Saffron shawl

Near a polling booth in Harangi, some people were canvassing for their candidate, by wearing saffron shawls.

DC clarifies on symbol

In Naladi constituency of Kakkabbe, Karunbaiah, one of the candidates, alleged that the symbol printed against his name in the ballot paper was different than the one allocated to him. This created confusion for a while.

Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy clarified that the symbols were allotted to the candidates in Naladi constituency, during the meeting of the candidates held by the returning officer, on December 14.

The candidate has signed the minutes of the meeting, which clarifies that he had agreed to the symbol of a truck. The ballot paper was printed accordingly, she added.

Candidates’ fate sealed

In the first phase of Gram Panchayat elections in the district on Tuesday, voting was held for 26 Gram Panchayats in Madikeri taluk and 40 Gram Panchayats in Somwarpet taluk.

As many as 676 candidates contested for the 267 seats in 108 constituencies in Madikeri taluk while 1,488 candidates were in the fray for the 462 seats of 177 constituencies in Somwarpet taluk.

All of their fates are sealed in the ballot boxes and the same will be revealed on December 30.

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