33 per cent polling registered till noon in Phase-II K'taka polls

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Bangalore, May 16 (UNI) Polling in politically volatile Bellary picked up even as an average 33 per cent polling was registered till noon in the second phase of elections to 66 seats in the Karnataka legislative Assembly today.

Polling was peaceful in all the 12,286 booths spread across ten districts with no untoward incidents.

In the Naxal-inflicted Udupi District, 46 per cent to 71 per cent polling was reported till noon. In the polling booths near the area where two people were killed by naxalites last night, polling was as high as 50 per cent. In Nadpal Higher Middle School, it was 46.18 per cent, followed by Sitanadi Hebri Forest Guest house 71.53 per cent and Gudimani 56 per cent.

Taking no chances, authorities had deployed CSF, Anti- Naxal Force and local police in the Naxal-affected areas. Strict vigil was being maintained and other than voters nobody else was being allowed near the polling booths. Even voters had to display their ID cards to enter the booths.

Authorities had also deployed additional forces in naxal- inflicted districts including Udupi, Chikamagalur and Shimoga following the killing of two people by naxalites in Udupi District last night.

A large number of voters were seen standing in queues in front of the polling booths since early morning.

There are 589 candidates in the fray including stalwarts like former Chief Minister S Bangarappa who is pitted against BJP Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa in Shikaripur.

Bangarappa's two sons are fighting each other for the Soraba Assembly seat in Shimoga district.

The high volatile Bellary district will witness a fight between 'mine king' Anil Lad (Cong) and Sriramulu (BJP).

Former Minister D B Chandregowda (Chikmagalur), former Deputy Chief Minister M P Prakash (Harapanahalli), former Minister and Bangarappa's sons Kumara Bangarappa and Madhu Bangarappa are the other important personalities in the fray.

Lok Sabha members Venkatesh Naik, Basavaraj Patil Yatnal, Narasingarao Suryamshi, G Karunakara Reddy and Ramesh Jigjinagi are also in the fray.

UNI TEAM MSP KD HT1415

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