Bengaluru: Sealing the fate of political parties, Karnataka completed voting for Lok Sabha Polls 2019 yesterday at 9 pm. The 14 constituencies that went to polls in North and Central Karnataka recorded a healthy 68.15 percent turnout in Phase III voting.
While the final turnout figures are yet to be officially announced, the latest figures combined with Phase II turnout of 68.80 percent, shows that the State may have just managed to better its 2014 tally. In the previous Lok Sabha Polls, Karnataka had registered a total of 67.20 percent voter turnout. The results will be out on May 23.
Voting was held in 28,022 Polling Stations across the regions peacefully barring incidents of poll boycott threats, technical snag in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and protests in few places.
In all, 237 candidates, including 10 women, were in the fray, with 164 Independents. With the ruling JD-S and Congress fielding common candidates as part of their pre-poll alliance, the BJP was locked in a straight contest with them after nearly three decades.
While the Congress contested in 11 seats — Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkot, Kalaburagi (SC), Raichur (ST), Bidar, Koppal, Ballari (ST), Haveri, Dharwad and Davanagere seats, the JD-S contested in Bijapur (SC), Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada.
The BJP has not fielded any woman in this phase. However, the party’s sitting MP Shobha Karandlaje re-contested from Udupi-Chikamagalur in the April 18 polling.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP won 11 and the Congress 3, with JD-S none. In the April 18 polling in the Central and southern region, the overall voter turnout was 69 percent.
Technical snag in EVMs
Several cases of EVM malfunctioning were reported, but authorities managed to rectify the issue or replace the faulty machines.
“We had to replace 214 ballot units and 143 control units — the lowest replacement rate nationally. But we have had to replace 1,611 Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, which is among the highest across India. Most of the VVPAT replacement happened in Kalaburagi due to high temperature,” Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka, explained.
Villagers boycott polls
The residents of Muthkur village in Hagaribommanahalli in Ballari and several villages, coming under Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary area, boycotted polling in protest against lack of basic facilities and Forest Dept. for not allowing development works. The villagers of Chaopli, Cherekhani, Kapoli, Mudgai, Gawali, Pastoli, Kongla, Krishnapur, Deggaon and Talewadi villages, coming under Khanapur Assembly segment and part of Uttar Kannada Lok Sabha constituency, also did not vote for the same reasons.
Woman dies after voting
A woman died of cardiac arrest soon after casting her vote at the polling booth in Ahiranga village of Indi taluk. The deceased Mahadevi Shivabasappa Sindakheda (55) had come to the booth with her husband. Soon after coming out of the booth, she collapsed and died.
Eight die during poll duty in Karnataka
In this election, eight polling personnel died on duty in both phases of the election in Karnataka.
Of them, seven died from cardiac arrest and one in a road accident, said Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Karnataka.
He said the high number of deaths due to cardiac arrest was worrisome and indicated that the elections were very stressful for the personnel.
In 2018 Assembly elections, six polling personnel had lost their lives and only one of them was due to cardiac arrest. Appropriate ex-gratia compensation to the family of these personnel would be released as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India, he said.
VA on poll duty ends life
A 28-year-old Village Assistant (VA) deputed on election duty ended his life by hanging himself from a tree in Kanavinatti village of Hukkeri taluk. The deceased has been identified as Suresh Bheemappa Sanadi. He was to get married on April 26. Sanadi committed suicide after making all the arrangements for polling at the booth he was attached to. Yamakanamaradi Police have registered a case.
Three arrested for uploading voting photos on social media
Police arrested three youths for clicking pictures of their voting and uploading the same on social media. The arrested are Manjunath Maradi of Dyampur in Kukanur taluk, Mallaiah Sannahanamantappa of Boodagumpa in Karatagi taluk and Raghavendra Hanamantaiah of Challur village of same taluk.
This village registers 100 percent polling
In a first in Karnataka, Booth Number 174 at Bommanabudni Government Higher Primary School in Mudhol taluk under Bagalkot Lok Sabha constituency has recorded 100% polling percentage. All 435 voters exercised their franchise in the said booth.
Booth Number 102 at Mantur, also in Mudhol taluk, witnessed 102 voters of the 103 enrolled, turned up for voting. The Bagalkot SVEEP Committee had set a target of 100% voting for seven booths in the constituency.