Counting of votes begins in Karnataka

May 16th, 2009 - 9:56 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, May 16 (IANS) Counting of votes cast for the Lok Sabha elections began Saturday morning amid tight security in Karnataka, poll officials said.
Even as majority of the 23,000 counting staff began unlocking the 47,578 electronic voting machines (EVMs) at three centres here and 25 centres at district headquarters across the state at 8 a.m., the remaining staff started counting postal ballots first in each constituency.

According to state chief electoral officer M.N. Vidyashankar, the first result is expected by 11.30 a.m.

Polling was held for 17 constituencies April 23 and 11 constituencies April 30 to decide the fortunes of 427 candidates, including 29 women and 260 independents.

Five of the state’s 28 constituencies are reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and two for the Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Of the estimated 40.11 million voters in the state, 24.44 million cast their ballots in both the phases.

With the three parliamentary seats in India’s IT hub - Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North - polling an average of 45.49 percentage, which is the lowest across the state, election authorities said results from these constituencies were likely to come in before results from the rest of Karnataka.

Political heavyweights awaiting their fate include former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president H.D. Deve Gowda from Hassan, his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy from Bangalore Rural, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South, chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra from Shimoga, and BJP state chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda from Udupi-Chikmagalur.

Others are Congress veterans Veerappa Moily form Chikkaballapur, Margaret Alva from Uttara Kannada and B. Janardhana Poojary from Dakshina Kannada, Congress Working Committee member Mallikharjun Kharge from Gulbarga, and Kannada film star and central junior minister M.H. Ambareesh from Mandya.

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