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Bangarpet sees 68 p.c. polling

Vishwa Kundapura



APPEAL:Party supporters elicit votes from the electorate.

KOLAR: It could have been a hangover from the Ugadi festival or the midday heat; polling stations in places such as Harati and Venugopalapur of the Bangarpet Assembly (Reserve) Constituency in Kolar district wore a deserted look with only polling staff and security personnel present on Saturday. However, as the day progressed, voters trickled in and about 68 per cent among the 1,54,304 voters exercised their franchise.

Some of the voters were upset when their names were found missing in the voters' list and some refrained from voting owing to lack of developmental work in their area.

Deputy Commissioner and District Returning Officer Manoj Kumar Meena, along with the Superintendent of Police, toured the constituency to ensure proper implementation of rules and regulations. At Karahalli, Mr. Meena seized publicity material, including model ballot papers of a political party from functionaries who were distributing slips to the voters outside the poling booth.

Money power

Rampant incidents of distribution of freebies, including cash, to lure voters came to light in the segment. “We have distributed Rs. 500 to each household to ensure their vote,” said a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary to The Hindu. At Manchahalli, an old woman said she had not cast her vote yet as nobody had paid her for it.

Boycott threat

The residents of Kadiranatta in Kamasamudra hobli refused to exercise their franchise alleging lack of developed roads in their area. There are 356 voters in this village, barely a kilometre away from the Tamil Nadu border. The village residents, however, relented after some serious discussion among themselves, and started voting only after 9 a.m., Returning Officer R.S. Peddappaiah said. Dozens of residents of Ramakrishna Hegde Colony in Bangarpet town staged a protest saying their names were missing from the voters' list. “We found 56 names were deleted during the EPIC campaign due to shifting of residences. Apart from that, there were no lapses,” said Tahsildar C. Nagaraj.

No vote for him

While Congress candidate K.M. Narayanaswamy voted at Vivekanandanagar booth, Janata Dal (Secular) candidate C. Venkatesh cast his vote in Bhuvanahalli. However, candidate M. Narayanaswamy of the BJP did not cast his vote. He is a voter of Kyasamballi of Bangarpet taluk, which falls under the KGF Assembly segment.

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