Bangalore, Mysore record low turnout in Karnataka poll

May 10th, 2008 - 11:14 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 10 (IANS) India’s silicon hub and its sister city Mysore recorded low voter turnouts Saturday in the first phase of the Karnataka assembly poll, taking political parties by surprise in view of the high stakes involved in forming the next government. Karnataka chief electoral officer M.N. Vidyashankar told reporters after polling ended at 5 p.m. that 44 percent voting was recorded in the 21 constituencies coming under Bangalore Bruhat Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) and 55 percent in seven segments of Bangalore Urban district. Similarly, Mysore district registered 54 percent voting in 11 constituencies.

“On average, 49.5 percent voting took place in the 28 constituencies spanning BBMP and urban areas of Bangalore. This percentage is indicative of polling by 5 p.m. The final tally may be marginally higher or lower,” he said.

In contrast, Bangalore Rural, which has four constituencies, recorded a high 72.5 percent voter turnout. Similarly, Ramanagaram district, about 40 km from the state capital, registered 70 percent voting in four of its assembly segments.

Delimitation has increased the number of constituencies in Bangalore from 16 to 28. A similar exercise in Bangalore Rural district and Ramanagaram, a new district carved out of Bangalore Rural and the adjacent Mandya district on the Bangalore-Mysore route, led to creation of four assembly segments each.

“The voting percentage at 5 p.m. in the first phase of poll was 59.8 percent in all the 89 constituencies across 11 southern districts of the state. With 72.5 percent voting, Bangalore Rural recorded the highest polling and Bangalore Urban the lowest at 49.5 percent,” Vidyashankar noted.

The percentage of voting in other districts of old Mysore region are Mandya 68, Chikkaballapur 68, Kolar 64, Hassan 68, Kodagu 60, Tumkur 63 and Chamarajanagar 65.

Hundreds of voters, especially in Bangalore and Mysore, complained Saturday that their names were missing from the electoral rolls. Asked about this, Vidyashankar said every eligible voter was given two months (February 14 to April 14) to verify whether he or she was enrolled.

“Voters have the dual responsibility of registering their names and ensuring they are included in the electoral rolls. Mere possession of electoral photo identity card (EPIC) does not qualify a voter to exercise his/her franchise.”

Vidyashankar said: “The polling was peaceful with no single untoward incident in any of the 89 constituencies. We have, however, booked 30 people in Hebbal segment of Bangalore Urban for attempting to cast bogus votes. About 50 electronic voting machines (EVMs), including 19 in Tumkur were replaced within 30 minutes after they were found defective.”

He also said the poll panel would decide Sunday if any repolling was needed in any booth.

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