At least 70 per cent voters exercised their franchise for Karnataka Assembly polls on Saturday, the Election Commission said.
Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the figure was likely to go up as data was still being collated from various polling stations where people queued up beyond 6 p.m. when the voting was supposed to end.
The Election Commission said the polling percentage may breach the 71.4 per cent mark recorded in the 2013 Assembly election in Karnataka which has nearly 5.07 crore voters.
Congress leader Ashok Gehlot accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to “influence” voters in Karnataka on the polling day through his temple visits in Nepal, reports PTI. Taking objection to PM Modi's prayers at Nepal temples in Kathmandu today, Gehlot said, "As there is Model Code of Conduct in Karnataka, PM Modi planned to pray at temples in Nepal instead, just to influence voters. This is not a good trend for democracy. Why did he only choose today as the day?"
Two voters died of heart attack at the polling booths in the separate incidents on Saturday, according to a report by Deccan Herald.
“While one died before exercising his franchise, another died after casting his vote,” the report said.
In Belthangady Assembly constituency in Dakshina Kannada district, a 70-year-old voter died of heart attack while he was waiting in the queue to cast his vote at Andinje booth. “Anni Acharya, a resident of Jarigedadi, accompanied by his nephew had come to the booth to exercise his voting right. While waiting for his turn in a queue, he collapsed and died en route to hospital,” the report read.
In the second incident, the report said that in Pandavapura Assembly constituency, Tammegowda (55) died of cardiac arrest after he cast his vote at Vaddarahalli booth. He was suffering from a prolonged illness and was brought to the booth on a wheelchair, report added.
The villagers are agitated over the murder of a four month pregnant woman. She was reportedly killed at Hunasikatti village of Kittur and eventually police arrested her husband Suresh. Villagers have been demanding the arrested of parents and relatives of Suresh as well.
“The villagers gathered in large numbers at the polling station and boycotted elections, pressing for their demands,” S Shankar Patil of 101Reporters network reported. “The police are trying to convince them to vote.”
Voting is only one act of citizenship. Citizenship is an everyday affair, historian, writer and Bengaluru resident Ram Guha tells @thenewsminute while expounding if Karnataka is the semi-final to 2019 elections, on the significance of past electoral trends and more. “The national media is only interested in elections. They will forget about us for the next five years.”
Sharply reacting to BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa's statement that he would form government in the state on May 17,Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has quipped, "He's mentally disturbed." Amidst the polling for Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah expressed confidence that Congress would again form the government in the state with a clear majority while speaking to media this afternoon.
Still awaiting first turnout figures but visibly there is brisk voting in Karnataka since polls opened early morning today, with people lined up outside polling booths as early as 6.30 am to cast their ballots
Congress candidate NA Haris is facing BJP’s K Vasudevamurthy and NR Sridhar Reddy of JD(S) here; Shanti Nagar is seeing a total of 18 candidates contesting
The Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer has said that anyone whose name is on the electoral roll can cast their vote even without EPIC/Voter ID. Just carry a standard government-issued and accepted ID proof like passport, driving license, Aadhaar card, ECHS card, etc
Voters have started casting their votes for 222 out of 224 seats today. Voting in two seats in Bengaluru has been postponed due to the death of the BJP candidates. Voting in a third seat Rajarajeshwari Nagar has been postponed to May 28 after over 9,700 voter IDs were found in a flat in the constituency
Follow for live updates on all developments as Karnataka votes to elect a new state government today. Will Siddaramaiah remain the chief minister or will BS Yeddyurappa unseat him? Will HD Kumaraswamy play any role in government formation? 4.98 crore voters will decide all this today