K'taka polls: Violence fails to deter voters | india | Hindustan Times
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K'taka polls: Violence fails to deter voters

india Updated: May 17, 2008 01:31 IST
BR Srikanth

In an interesting poll phenomenon, a constituency where two people were shot dead by Naxalites on Thursday night witnessed a record 70 per cent turn out. A moderate 60 per cent electorate cast their votes in 66 seats spread over ten districts of Karnataka on Friday.

In the first phase on May 10, an average of 66 per cent polling was recorded in 89 assembly constituencies.

In Karkala constituency, where Naxalites killed two men near Hebri, voters queued up since morning despite a tight security cordon. The shadow of violence seemed to have no impact on the voting pattern.

The Karkala seat topped the list followed by Sringeri in the neighbouring region at 68 per cent and Shikaripura, where former chief ministers S. Bangarappa and B.S. Yediyurappa contested for supremacy, at 63.13 per cent.

In Bellary district, where a number of well-heeled iron ore mine owners were in the fray, the average was 55 per cent,
according to the chief electoral officer M.N. Vidyashankar. Vidyashankar said the superintendent of police (SP), Bellary, Amrit Pal, was transferred on the basis of “inputs” provided by poll observers.

However, the mining city remained peaceful throughout the day.

In all, there were 21 complaints about electronic voting machines in phase II. However, at all these places, the machines were quickly replaced.

Among districts, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada lead the others with 68 per cent voting, followed by Davanagere at 64, Chikmagalur at 63, Koppal at 62, Uttar Kannada at 61, Shimoga and Chitradurga at 60, Bellary at 55 and Raichurat 47 percent respectively.

On Friday, the electorate sealed the fortunes of 590 candidates including Yediyurappa, Bangarappa, former Deputy Chief Minister MP Prakash, BJP MP, G. Karunakara Reddy, and senior Congress leader RV Deshpande, the last in race for seventh consecutive victory from his bastion Haliyal in Uttara Kannada district.