First phase polling begins on a sedate note in Karnataka

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Bangalore, May 10 (UNI) First phase of polling of Karnataka Assembly elections began on a sedate note as only about 10 to 12 per cent electorate turned out for voting during the first three hours of the election in 89 constituencies of 11 districts in the state.

With elaborate security arrangements, gun wielding central force personnel were seen posted near hyper-sensitive and sensitive booths.

Barring stray incidents of protests by those whose names were missing in the voter list, no untoward incident had been reported.

Nearly 1.73 crore voters would be deciding the fate of 953 candidates in the districts coming under old Mysore area in the southern part of the state.

Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna, BJP national vice president Venkaiah Naidu, former deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah were among the early voters who cast their votes in their respective polling booths.

Mr Kumaraswamy, contesting from Ramanagaram, cast his vote at Ketgenahalli in Bidadi taluk. Mr Revanna, contesting from Holenarasipura in Hassan district, chief ministerial candidate Siddaramaiah of Congress from Varuna and former union minister V Sreenivasa Prasad of Congress from Nanjangud also cast their votes.

Former Assembly speaker Krishna contesting from K R Pet and former union minister Ambareesh, contesting from Srirangapatna both in Mandya district also cast their votes.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu who represents the state in the Rajya Sabha, voted in Malleshwaram in the city while Mr Prasad voted in Mysore city where he lives.

In the city, polling began on a dull note and people started coming in big numbers only after the 'breakfast time'.

Polling was suspended in some booths in Shantinagar and Koramangala due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines. The snag was set right after some time.

In R T Nagar police arrested 20 people when they tried to cast bogus votes.

In Varuna in Mysore district, activists of some political parties protested and the polling was suspended for some time when they alleged that the polling officer of the booth was soliciting votes for a particular part. The official was immediately replaced.

In Bangalore rural district voting began on a dull note and later picked up well. While in some booths in Hoskote segment 10 per cent polling was reported till 1000 hrs, 20 per cent were cast in some others. Long queues were seen only in some booths.

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