New Delhi, May 10 : An estimated 60 per cent of the 1.73 crore electorate cast their votes today in the first phase of polls held in 89 assembly constituencies of Karnataka. The polling was by and large peaceful.
"Polling was peaceful and there were no reports of any untoward incident like booth capture or violence from anywhere in the state," said Deputy Chief Election Commissioner R Bhattacharya.
He said 64 per cent voters exercised their franchise in rural areas while 50 per cent turnout was recorded in urban centres. Around 7,700 central officials monitored the polling held in 18,598 stations across 11 districts today.
The polling percentage could increase as people waited in queues inside polling stations even after the close of polling at 1700 hours, he added.
The districts include Bangalore, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Chickballapur, Kolar, Ramnagara, Mandya, Hassan, Mysore, Kodagu and Chamarajnagara. n all 953 candidates were in the fray. Over one crore 72 lakh voters were eligible to cast their votes.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda cast his vote in Padavalahippe village of Holenarasipur taluk with his family members.
Some of the star contestants in fray are former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former Assembly Speaker Krishna, former Union Minister Ambareesh and V Srinivasa Prasad, former state ministers R Ashok and Katta Subramanya Naidu.
There has been no report of lengthy queues or overcrowding in Bangalore.
The voters' response in Bangalore City, which has 28 assembly segments, was poor and about 50 per cent people cast their votes, according to initial reports from election authorities.
Polling was brisk in Bangalore Rural, Kolar, Hassan, Ramanagar and Chamarajnagar.
Poll process was disrupted for brief spells in several places due to technical snags.
Police resorted to baton charge to disperse a group of persons who apparently were trying to cast bogus votes at Chickpet.
In several areas, voters protested deletion of their names.
Of the 224 assembly segments in the state, 66 will go to polls in the second phase on May 16 and the remaining 69 in the third phase on May 22.