Bangalore: Around 40 per cent of the 4.62 crore electorate have exercised their franchise till now in the single-phase polls today in Karnataka, where the ruling Congress and BJP are battling it out in a hot contest for 28 seats.
Voting across the state got off to a moderate to brisk start, as it began at 7 am and was reported at about 10 per cent in the first two hours and reached around 25 per cent in five hours, officials said.
Two officials on poll duty died of heart attack in Belgaum and Tumkur districts, police said.
Polling was proceeding smoothly and peacefully across the state, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), M N Reddy told PTI.
In the prestigious contest in Bangalore South, where Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is pitted against five-time MP BJP’s Ananth Kumar, the voter turnout was impressive reaching 30 per cent around noon.
Polling was however moderate in other two Bangalore Constituencies– North and Central.
Some 85,000 security personnel, including the central forces, are provide security cover across the state with 54,294 polling booths, 8,658 of which are identified as hyper sensitive and 14,400 as sensitive.
The Election Commission has introduced Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system on an experimental basis in Bangalore South, which is among the seven constituencies in the country to be chosen for it.
VVPAT is a printer with drop box. It prints and displays a slip for seven seconds after the vote is cast so that a citizen can also see who they cast their vote for. The slip would then get automatically dropped into the drop box next to the Electronic Voting Machine and can’t be retrieved.
UTTAR PRADESH POLLING
Brisk polling is underway in 11 seats in the second phase of polls in Uttar Pradesh with over 49.61 per cent polling recorded till 3 PM to decide fate of 150 candidates.
According to EC sources, Nagina witnessed 53.24 per cent polling while Moradabad 54.4 per cent and Rampur 47.9 per cent polling each.
Similarly Sambhal recorded 51.40 per cent polling, Amroha 51.4 per cent, Badaun 44.2 per cent, Aonla 47.2 per cent,
Bareilly 52.6 per cent, Pilibhit 48.6, Shahjahanpur 45.83 per cent and Kheri 49.15 per cent.
In this phase, polling is being held in Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Amroha, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Nagina, Aonla and Kheri.
The prominent candidates who are in fray includes Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Gangwar, Saleem Sherwani and Begum Noor Bano.
An average of over 40 per cent of total 3.48 crore electors cast their votes in the first phase Lok Sabha polls being held on 20 out of 25 seats in Rajasthan till 3 pm.
“Polling is under way on a very peaceful note so far barring a few incidents of party workers’ altercation in Ajmer and Bikaner outside the booths”, DGP-Law and Order Navdeep Singh told PTI here.
Over 80,000 security personnels were on duty to ensure free and fair poll, and incident free, DGP claimed.
Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, cast her vote at the polling station set up in Topkhana school in Jhalawar.
“I am expecting very good results. We set a mission 25 to win all the parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan and I hope that we should win all constituencies,” Raje told reporters here. She said that UPA government has betrayed people and voters know it hence the results would in the favour of the party.
Jaswant Singh, expelled BJP leader, cast his vote in his home constituency of Barmer, while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore exercised his franchise with his wife in Jaipur rural constituency.
Ganganagar (SC) seat registered highest voter turn out of 49.11 per cent whereas Banswara recorded 43.35, Barmer 42.8 per cent voting.
Jaipur recorded about 41 per cent polling at this hour. Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cast his vote with wife and daughter-in-law at Jodhpur, while BJP candidate Col Sonaram contesting against BJP rebel Jaswant Singh, exercised his franchise in Barmer.
Coming out of the booth, Gehlot told reporters that it was very dangerous in democratic election that rival party (BJP) was posing as a one man party (NaMo).
Gehlot criticised BJP’s poll campaign in which Modi projected as “is bar Modi sarkar”, alleging individualism would not be accepted by voters.
Altogether 239 candidates including 17 women are in the fray in the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the first phase.
38, 835 polling stations have been set up in the first phase and 5942 among them are critical polling stations.
The 20 LS constituencies where polling is going on are: Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Ajmer, Nagaur, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran.