Polling in the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state went off peacefully barring a few minor incidents of stone pelting and group clashes. The state recorded over 65 per cent voting, which is much higher than the 58.80 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
However, Bangalore was a bit of a disappointment with Bangalore North logging just 52 per cent and Bangalore South and Bangalore Central both registering a turnout of 55 per cent.
Giving details, Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka Anil Kumar Jha said the figures were estimates of voting upto 6 pm. Polling went on beyond 6 pm in many booths as voters were standing in queues to exercise their franchise.
“The final tally of over 65 per cent polling could go up by one or two per cent after the final figures from all polling stations are received. The figures would be available by Friday morning,” he said.
The turnout is considered high by Karnataka’s standards, as the highest polling recorded in a Lok Sabha election in the state is 67.53 per cent in 1989.
The presiding officer at the polling station in Harohalli village in Kolar Lok Sabha constituency was replaced after Congress candidate and Union Minister K H Muniyappa turned the direction of the table on which the electronic voting machine was placed.
Action was taken against one more polling official for a similar incident in Tumkur city, Jha said.
Repolling is likely to be held in two polling stations, one at Sringeri in Chikmagalur-Udupi constituency and the other at Govindarajanagar, Bangalore South constituency. “This is due to technical snags in the EVMs. But the final decision on repolling will be taken only after examining the report,” Jha said.
Two officials, Assistant Returning Officer Maulana Sab Zari at Kudachi in Chikodi constituency, and Gangaiah, a group ‘D’ employee at Turuvekere in Tumkur constituency, died while discharging their duty. Both officials complained of chest pain, Jha said.
Reports of voters boycotting elections over local issues were received from many places, including Shimoga and Tumkur.
In all, technical troubles in electronic voting machines were reported from 93 places and the polling went off smothly after they were replaced without much delay. In Bangalore South constituency 55 VVPATs were replaced.
At a polling booth in Nelamangala a voter in inebriated condition damaged the EVM, which was replaced immediately. The offender, Udayakrishna has been arrested.
An EVM was damaged at a booth in Anekal in Bangalore Rural constituency following a group clash between workers of two political parties.
Ink for Nilekani’s Fore Finger
Replying to a question about polling officials applying the indelible ink on the fore finger of Nandan Nilekani, the Congress candidate from Bangalore South constituency, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said it was not a poll irregularity.
“May be it was done by mistake. But we will seek a report on the incident,” Jha said.