Mysuru district records 84 percent voting in first phase of GP polls
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Mysuru district records 84 percent voting in first phase of GP polls

December 23, 2020

Second phase elections on Dec. 27; Counting for both phases on Dec. 30 

Mysore/Mysuru: The first phase of Gram Panchayat (GP) elections passed off peacefully in the five Taluks of Mysuru district for 2,174 posts in 949 seats. There are a total of 148 GPs and the voters decided on the fate of 6,165 candidates.

Election was held using the traditional ballot papers and voter slips were collected in ballot boxes. Indelible ink was marked on the left thumb of the voters. 

Voting was held for Hunsur Taluk (41 seats), K.R. Nagar Taluk (34 seats), Periyapatna (34), Heggadevanakote (26) and Saragur Taluk (13 seats). Mysuru Taluk will go to polls in the second phase along with Nanjangud and T. Narasipur on Dec. 27 where voting will take place for 1,833 posts in 102 GPs. There are 5,069 candidates in the fray and counting for both phases will be held on Dec. 30.

Panchayat polls are not fought on party lines and no party symbols are used. However, most candidates are backed by political parties. The election took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have tested positive or under primary or secondary contacts voted in the last hour of polling.

The polling began at 7 am and till afternoon, 45.92 percent polling was reported and by the time voting concluded at 5 pm, 84 percent polling was reported. The percentage is high as villagers overwhelmingly voted for candidates for the overall development of their villages. This number is high when compared to the polling in city areas where usually the voters are laggards. 

The State Election Commission had issued guidelines for ensuring compliance of COVID-19 protocols. But there were reports of violation of social-distancing norms. In the morning, rules were followed and it became a lax affair as hours wore on.  Hand sanitisers and thermal scanners were made available in polling booths.

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Policemen stopped interfering after a few hours and focused only on maintaining peace. In many polling booths, people were standing in queue close to each other violating social distancing norms. People working outside district returned to their home-towns to exercise their franchise, with most of them turning up along with their families.

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