Mangaluru/Udupi, May 30: In the first phase of gram panchayat elections held on Friday May 29th, overall voting percentage of 74 was recorded in Dakshina Kannada District.
The taluk-wise voting percentage is listed below:
Bantwal —— 73.40%,
Beltangady —- 72.89%,
Puttur ———— 75.43% and
Sullia ————- 77.94%.
In Udupi district, 70.57 of the voters turned up. Karkala recorded the highest turnout of 75.07 percent, followed by Udupi taluk at 69.64 percent and Kundapur at 67 percent.
The elections are postponed to May 31st in two gram panchayats – Bandharu in Beltangady due to confusion regarding election symbol and Padu Perar in Mangaluru taluk have been postponed as symbols were not printed on ballot papers.
Health minister U T Khadar exercised his franchise at Boliyar Rantadka Jaradagudde Government School, Mudipu.
District incharge minister Ramanath Rai and Padmanabha Kottary were among other leaders who exercised their franchise.
A special attention among the voters in Bantwal taluk, was a bride who stopped on the way to her wedding to cast her vote at the respective booth.
Vittal Malekudiya, who had been arrested three years ago for alleged links to Naxals and was released later, is contesting from Kuthlur in Beltangady.
Speaking to the media, he said, I am very happy with the response of the citizens. I am hopeful of winning but ultimately it is left to the people.
The voter turnout was affected as rain hit many parts of the district.
Voter expires after casting vote:
A voter Abdulla (50), from Poyyagadde in Kanyana village in Bantwal taluk breathed his last at a polling centre in his village on Friday May 29th .
Deceased is Abdulla, son of Pakru Beary.
Abdulla had arrived to the polling booth located in the government PU college at Kanyana on Friday evening. After casting his vote, he collapsed on the ground. He was shifted to a private hospital at Vittal. But he had expired due to cardiac arrest before reaching the hospital.
Abdulla is survived by wife, four sons, and two daughters.