BJP leader R. Ashok (L) and JD(S) leader Zameer Ahmed Khan after casting their votes in Council polls, in Bengaluru. (Photo: DC)
Bengaluru: Around 99 per cent of voters exercised their franchise to elect 25 members to the State Legislative Council from local bodies constituencies on Sunday.
Barring four minor incidents, the election was peaceful across the State, Chief Electoral Officer Anilkumar Jha told Deccan Chronicle.
In an interesting development, Mr Zameer Ahmed Khan and Mr Akhanda Srinivasamurthy and T.A. Saravana, MLC, of JD (S) openly declared that they had voted for the Congress candidate in Bengaluru Urban Constituency, Mr Narayanaswamy, in the absence of any direction from their party supremo, Mr H.D. Deve Gowda and state JD(S) President H D Kumaraswamy. There has been talk of the BJP and JD(S) striking a secret pact to win as many seats possible and deal a blow to the Congress in the council polls. Zameer and his associates, on the other hand, have always favoured firming up a pact with the Congress, something Mr. Kumaraswamy has frowned upon which is a pointer to the disarray in the JD(S).
Mr Khan said, "We did not have our party candidate in this constituency. Similarly, there was no instruction from our leaders to vote for any particular candidate. So, all three of us voted for the Congress."
Voting was brisk since morning and 84 per cent was reported by 2 pm. The total number of voters for this election was 1,07,123. Mr Jha said in Chitradurga, a vote has been invalidated for violating secrecy. A voter, after making the mark on the ballot paper, displayed it which amounts to violation of secrecy. At Mugulur in Anekal, a woman voter tried to carry the original ballot paper after dropping the model ballot paper into the ballot box. However, the poll staff intervened and seized the original ballot paper.
This incident resulted in a dharna by BJP workers. The assistant commissioner arrived at the spot and took stock of the situation. Forest Minister B. Ramanath Rai, Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader and BJP MLC Ramachandragowda had to visit two polling stations after their names went missing from the electoral list. However, Mr Jha attributed it to some confusion since the names of legislators would be in the electoral list of local bodies they being ex-officio members.
While CM Siddaramaiah voted in Mysuru, Mr Deve Gowda voted in Hassan, former CM Jagadish Shettar in Hubballi, Mr. Kumaraswamy in Ramanagaram and Union minister Sadananda Gowda in Bengaluru.
The tentative voting percentage is as follows: Bidar - 99.61, Kalaburagi and Yadgir - 99.05, Vijayapura and Bagalkot - 99, Belagavi - 99.02, Uttara Kannada 99.5, Hubballi-Dharwad - 99.46, Raichur-Koppal - 99.82, Ballari 99.08, Chitradurga -99.85, Shivamogga 99, Dakshina Kannada 99.61, Chikkamagaluru - 99.76, Hassan - 99.81, Tumakuru - 98.88, Mandya -99.81, Bengaluru Urban - 98.5, Bengaluru Rural - 98, Kolar-Chikkaballapura - 99.93 and Mysuru-Chamarajanagar -99.87.
JD(S) voters show proof of loyalty!
To prove to party leaders that they had been as loyal as ever and had not fallen to the lure of cash offered by rival parties, some supporters of JD(S) candidate Patel Shivram in Hassan, reportedly went to the extent of taking pictures of their votes where they had marked ‘1’ alongside the name of Mr Shivram. The pictures were reportedly forwarded to leaders before they inserted the ballot paper into the box! They ensured that the pictures taken on their phones were sent to the party leaders through Whatsapp. The pictures on Whatsapp were circulated among JD(S) leaders too.
A party leader displayed the picture sent by a voter on Whatsapp and said these were the voters who, party leaders doubted, would give a miss to the party nominee.
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