Karnataka Assembly polls sees highest voter turnout in 35 years at 72.13 pc

The polling was conducted in 222 constituencies in the state on Saturday, and the results of the crucial election will be announced on Tuesday, May 15.
Karnataka Assembly polls sees highest voter turnout in 35 years at 72.13 pc
Karnataka Assembly polls sees highest voter turnout in 35 years at 72.13 pc
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The Assembly Elections in Karnataka witnessed the highest voter turnout in the state in over 35 years. As the polling came to a close in Karnataka at 6 pm on Saturday, the Election Commission announced that 72.13% voters turned out across Karnataka to vote.

Saturday’s poll percentage is a marginal though significant improvement from 2013, which recorded 71.45%. The highest voter turnout before 2013 was in 1978 – when the state witnessed a polling percentage of 71.90%

On Saturday, the highest turnout was in Ramanagara district with over 80% voters casting their votes. The districts in Central Karnataka and the Old Mysore region also saw huge voter turnouts as well.

Hosakote Assembly constituency in Bengaluru Rural recorded the highest polling percentage with 89.97%.

Hosakote’s incumbent MLA is the Congress’ MTB Nagaraj, one of the party’s richest legislators. However, the polling percentage has decreased compared to the 2013 polls where 90.99% voters had turned up.

Hosakote has always seen the power fluctuate between MTB Nagaraj of the Congress and BN Bachegowda (now with BJP) since 2004. Prior to the 2008 elections, Bachegowda was a JD(S) candidate and the polls were fought between Congress and JD(S), with Bachegowda joining the BJP in 2008, the BJP made inroads into one constituency in Bengaluru Rural.

The constituencies in Kolar and Chikkaballapura districts too saw high voter turnout of around 85%.

Meanwhile, Dasarahalli in Bengaluru Urban had the lowest voter turnout with only 48.03% of voters casting their vote.

Overall, Bengaluru continued its poor show on polling day, with Bengaluru South recording a disappointing 52.8%, while Bengaluru North didn’t fare any better with only 53.21% voters queuing up on Saturday. Meanwhile, Bengaluru Urban recorded 57.25%, slightly lower than its poll percentage in 2013.

This comes despite awareness programmes and numerous voter registration drives.

A single-phase polling was held in 222 constituencies, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 26 in Bengaluru from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The state has over 4.97 crore electorate, including 2.52 crore men and 2.45 crore women. New voters are 15,42,000 in the 18-19 age group.

58,008 polling stations were set up in 30 districts across the state, with 600 of them marked as pink booths, manned by all-women personnel, and 28 ethnic booths.

The Chief Election Commissioner stated that re-polling will take place in a polling station at Lottegollahalli in Hebbal due to malfunctioning of a ballot unit. 

The results of this high stakes battle will be out on May 15 and for the both the Congress and BJP and could change the course of the state's political history. 

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