No vote cast in some Karnataka polling booths

April 24th, 2009 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, April 23 (IANS) As a mark of protest against non-implementation of development works, hundreds of voters in six Lok Sabha constituencies kept away from polling booths in Karnataka Thursday.
“Nil voting was reported in over a dozen polling booths in some parliamentary constituencies for non-implementation of development works, including building roads, bridges, borewells for drinking water and other amenities in their respective areas,” state chief electoral officer M.N. Vidyashankar told reporters here.

Only one vote was cast in a Ramagondanahalli polling booth near Yelahanka in Bangalore North constituency and none in the adjacent booth in protest against land acquisition by the state-run Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

Similarly, zero voting was reported from polling booths at Malaghar, Bhalki and Khataka Chincholi in Bidar, Hiryur in Chitradurga, Sirsi in Uttara Kannada, Honnaganehalli in Bangalore Rural, Sindadurga in Koppala and Chikballapur.

“Only one voter exercised his franchise at Karwar in Uttara Kannada while a few hundreds boycotted polling to register their protest over failure to take up development works,” Vidyasankar said while briefing media persons about the peaceful conduct of the polls.

Around 51 percent of polling was reported till 5 p.m. in 17 of the 28 constituencies in Karnataka that went to polls in the second phase of the general elections. Voting in 11 constituencies is scheduled for April 30.

Interestingly, all voters of a polling station at Gauribidnur in Chikballapur constituency declined to vote as a mark of respect to the murder of three members of the village in Gujarat last week.

“The voters went into mourning after they learnt about the tragic incident late Wednesday,” Vidyasankar stated.

The election official declined to comment on the low turnout in Karnataka as against 61.4 percent in the first phase of polling across the state in the 2004 general elections.

“It is for political parties, citizens and media to analyse why voting percentage declined this time. We are here to facilitate free and fair elections, provide security and prevent malpractices,” Vidyasankar added.

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