Karnataka gets set for second phase of assembly polls

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Bangalore, May 15 : With an additional layer of security in the Naxal infested districts of Udupi, Shimoga and Chiknagalur, Karnataka is all set for the second phase of assembly polls on Friday.

At least 1.10 crore electorate are expected to decide the fate of 589 candidates, including Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa.

Elaborate arrangements have been made by Electoral authorities for smooth polling at 12,271 polling stations in 66 segments which is spread across ten districts, where over 56,000 security personnel would keep a close watch.

Police has issued shoot-at-sight orders to deal with outlaws disrupting the poll process.

Around 16,000 para military force personnel, including 500-strong Anti-Naxal Force, have been deployed in these parts, State ADGP Shankar Bidari said.

The Election Commission has been continuing its efforts to ensure a free and fair election in Bellary, has deputed senior Indian Administrative Service officer Raymond Peter as special observer, who successfully checked malpractices in the 2006 by-election to Chamundeswari assembly constituency in Mysore.

It would be a litmus test for the Congress as the BJP has a strong hold in several pockets in ten districts.

In 2004, the BJP garnered 37 seats followed by the Congress, 22 and the JDS, 14.

Sixty six per cent voter turnout was registered in 89 of the total 224 assembly seats in the first phase of elections on May 10.

The third and final phase of elections would be on May 22.

ANI

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