60 percent polling in Karnataka final phase (Fourth Lead)

April 30th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, April 30 (IANS) Over 60 percent of an estimated 15.5 million voters cast their ballots Thursday in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka when 10-hour polling ended 5 p.m. peacefully, officials said.
The coastal Dakshina Kannada constituency, where former central minister B. Janardhan Poojary is locked in a fight with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first-time contender Nalin Kumar Katilu, reported the highest polling percentage of 72 while Haveri in north Karnataka recorded the lowest percentage of 54 in the final phase of parliamentary elections in the state.

Polling for the 17 of the 28 constituencies in the state was held April 23.

Voting in the high-profile constituencies of Hassan, where former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda is locked in a triangular contest, was 68.5 percent. In Shimoga, where former state chief minister S. Bangarappa is challenged by B.Y. Raghavendra of the BJP and son of state chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, it was 62 percent.

In Mandya, where Kannada ageing star and Congress candidate M.H. Ambareesh is facing a tough fight from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the BJP, the polling was 57.5 percent.

Polling percentages in other constituencies were: Bagalkot 57, Davangere 60.2, Ududpi-Chikmagalur 62.5, Mysore 56, Dharwad 57 and Chamarajnagar 58, state chief electoral officer M.N. Visyashankar told reporters at the end of 10-hour peaceful polling.

He said 9.35 million voters had cast their ballots and the average came to 60.31 percent.

Balloting began at 7 a.m. in 18,452 booths in the second and final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Among the early voters were Janata Dal-Secular president H.D. Deve Gowda in Hassan, M.H. Ambareesh of Congress in Mandya, former central minister B. Janardhana Poojary of Congress in Dakshina Kannada, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son and BJP nominee B.Y. Raghavendra in Shimoga.

The poll panel had made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth voting through 21,610 electronic voting machines (EVMs). More than 2,700 video recorders and digital cameras recorded the voting process, added the official.

Around 55,000 security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order.

More than 50,000 poll officials were on duty with over 5,600 micro-observers to ensure fair election.

In three constituencies of Shimoga, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur, women voters outnumbered men.

The number of women voters in Shimoga was 701,605 and male voters 696,774; Udupi-Chikmagalur had 618,990 women and 584,860 men voters registered; and in Dakshina Kannada 675,002 women and 658,174 men voters were on the rolls.

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