About 55 per cent of the estimated 1.17 crore voters exercised their franchise on Thursday in the third and final phase of elections in 69 assembly segements in Karnataka.
The voters sealed the fortunes of 699 candidates including, former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh and KPCC President M Mallikarjun Khargin under the watchful eyes of 58,000 security personnel.
Polling ended on a peaceful note and no untoward incident has been reported, police said, expressing happiness over ensuring a trouble-free election during all the three phases.
With this, the electoral authorities completed the process of voting in all the 224 assembly segments contested by 2,241 aspirants. Counting will be held on May 25.
The first phase of polling in 89 constituencies in 11 districts was conducted on May 10 and the second phase on May 16 across ten districts covering 66 constituencies. The third phase covered eight districts.
Political parties perceive that which ever party wins more seats in this phase, can expect a smooth passage to the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of power.
While BJP and Congress enjoy sizeable influence in this region,JDS led by former prime minister H D Devegowda is also eying to win some seats in this belt, to push up its tally and once again emerge a key player in government formation.
However, the level of confidence among BJP and Congress had been high as the front-ranking leaders of these parties have been claiming to grab a lion's share of the 69 seats.
BJP, which bagged more than 30 seats in this region in the last poll, is hoping to win more than 40 seats in its strongholds like Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur and Bidar.