Karnataka is witnessing a crucial electoral battle that could set the tone for the upcoming general assembly elections in 2019. But even this has not been enough to draw the residents of Bengaluru to polling booths. But one unlikely visitor that did turn up at a Mahadevapura polling booth was a three- foot-long snake.
Shocked officials suspended polling for about 20 minutes at the polling station in Kittagunuru on Saturday afternoon. A long pole was used to remove the snake from the premises and only after it escaped the booth did voting resume again. People present at the booth can be heard creating a commotion, while a security guard attempts to push the reptile away.
The overall voter turnout in Karnataka was 72.13%. However, Benglauru Urban brought down the overall tally, with the final polling percentage at 57.25%.
The Election Commission said that in 164 polling units, 157 control units and 470 VVPATs had mechanical problems and were replaced. The EVM failures were within prescribed limits. The Chief Election Commissioner has clarified that re-polling will take place in a polling station at Lottegollahalli in Hebbal due to malfunctioning of a ballot unit.
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 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.