Impressive turnout in State at 65 pc

Karnataka witnessed an impressive voter turnout as more than 65 per cent of its 4.62 crore electorate exercised franchise during the single- phase polling for the State’s 28 Lok Sabha constituencies on Thursday.
The polling is a healthy improvement when compared with 58.81 per cent registered in 2009. Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said the overall polling percentage is likely to go up. Voting statistics from various districts were still trickling in till late in the evening on Thursday.
Around 5 pm, poll watchers were expecting the turnout to touch 68 per cent, making it an all- time record. The polling was held between 7 am and 6 pm.
The Election Commission is expected to announce the final figures on Friday. The highest turnout in the State was in 1999 Lok Sabha polls when 67.58 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise.
The three constituencies of Bangalore witnessed a relatively poor turnout, an average of about 54 per cent. The two national parties interpreted the increase in the turnout in their own way: While the Congress claimed that it was because of various welfare schemes being implemented by the Siddaramaiah government, the BJP said it was the reflection of angst of people who are seeking a change at the Centre.
The keenly fought polls remained by and large peaceful and voters turned out at polling booths in large numbers despite minor incidents of violence, searing summer heat and rainfall in some parts of the State. Jha said repolling could be ordered in one booth each in Sringeri and Govindarajnagar due to faulty electronic voting machines (EVMs).
There have been reports of voters boycotting polls from pockets of Karwar, Sirsi, Chamarajnagar and Bidar in protest against poor basic amenities in their villages, he said.
The highest polling was recorded in Dakshina Kannada (75 per cent), followed by Chikkaballapur (73 per cent). The lowest was in Gulbarga (51 per cent) followed by Bangalore North (52 per cent).
In Mayaganahalli in Ramanagara taluk, under Bangalore Rural constituency, three workers of the Aam Aadmi Party were thrashed allegedly by Congress supporters after they took pictures of money being distributed to voters.

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