Barring chombu & gas, poll goes off smoothly in Bengaluru

A few sporadic incidents like arguments between party workers, protests were swiftly dealt with by security at poll booths
Indian Youth Congress president BV Srinivas and supporters arrive at a polling booth to cast their votes, in Bengaluru on Friday
Indian Youth Congress president BV Srinivas and supporters arrive at a polling booth to cast their votes, in Bengaluru on Friday Photo | PTI

BENGALURU: Barring a few sporadic incidents, involving minor altercations between party workers at a few places, Bengaluru City largely witnessed peaceful polling during Phase II of the Parliamentary elections on Friday.

At some polling stations, some voters, despite having their voter IDs, found their names missing from the voter list. After they were stopped from casting their votes, they vented their ire at the election officials. The police personnel deployed for security had to persuade them into exiting the polling booth.

Members of the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress (KPYC) staged a protest at a polling station in Rajajinagar on Friday morning with a chombu (small water pot) and a gas cylinder. At some places, there were arguments between the Congress and BJP workers over gift cards being disbursed among voters.

In Chamarajpet, BJP workers alleged that Congress workers were giving money to voters at their residences. A rowdy sheeter identified as ‘Cutting’ Seena was accused of attacking a political party worker, and the police had to intervene to control the ensuing situation. At a polling station in RR Nagar, voters expressed anger as the initials of BJP candidate Dr CN Manjunath were written as ‘CS Manjunath’ at the entrance of the polling booths.

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner B Dayananda told The New Indian Express that the elections in the city were totally peaceful. “Elections in all five parliamentary constituencies were totally peaceful. It was an incident- and violence-free election,” the commissioner added.

Security proceedings taken against rowdy sheeters ahead of the polls helped the police ensure smooth elections. The security forces deployed at each polling station had kept a hawk’s eye to ensure that no untoward incidents were reported from any part of the city. The Election Commission’s efforts to keep a vigil through webcasting and the deployment of paramilitary forces at ‘critical booths’ in Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru South led to the smooth conduct of the polls in Bengaluru.

Under the Bengaluru Police Commissionerate, five Parliament constituencies went to the polls in the second phase, which was the first phase for Karnataka, wherein elections were held in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in the southern part of the state. The constituencies under the commissionerate are Bengaluru North, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru Rural, and Chikkaballapur. Senior officers supervised the security arrangements.

More than 13,000 policemen working in the commissionerate, 4,000 Home Guards, 11 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), 14 Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), and 40 City Armed Reserve (CAR) platoons were deployed.

As many as 7,533 firearms have been deposited in all the police stations. Section 144 had also been imposed. A liquor ban was also imposed from 5 pm on April 24 until midnight on April 26.

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The New Indian Express