65-70 pc polling in IInd phase of Karnataka Assy elections

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Bangalore, May 16 (UNI) An estimated 65 to 70 per cent turnout was reported in the second phase of polling for the 66 Assembly seats in Karnataka which went off without incident.

According to Election Commission sources, ''an estimated 65 to 70 per cent of the 1,10,26,524 voters, including 55,02,247 women exercised their franchise in 12,286 booths spread across ten districts.

Voting was totally incident-free even in Naxal-affected areas of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chickmagalur and Shimoga Districts.'' Not deterred by last night's killing of two people by Naxals, voters started turning up in Udupi District right from beginning of polling at 0700 hrs.

In the first three hours, the district had registered 16 per cent voting and at the end it was estimated at 65 per cent.

In Chikamagalur and Dakshina Kannada also, the turnout was more than 50 per cent.

The sources said in Gangavathi Assembly seat, the police seized Rs 2.65 lakh cash allegedly meant for distribution to the voters by the members of a political party. Two people were arrested and five two-wheelers impounded.

In a tragic incident, a middle-aged woman collapsed and died while standing in a queue to exercise her right to vote in Nallur Polling Station in Karkala Assembly Seat in Udupi district.

The districts which went to the polls in the second phase elections were Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Chickmagalur, Shimoga and Davanagere, Raichur, Chitradurga, Bellary and Koppal.

As many as 589 candidates, including 25 women, were in the fray.

The election prospects of 589 candidates (25 women) and political stalwarts, including those of BJP Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, his arch rival S Bangarappa (SP), Congress Leaders R V Deshapande, M P Prakash, Mining Barons Anil Lad (all Cong) and BJP's Sriramulu, K S Ishwarappa and others were sealed in the EVMs.

The third and final phase of polling will take place on May 22 for the remaining 69 Assembly seats spread over eight northern Karantaka districts.

The counting of votes will be taken up on May 25.

UNI TEAM MV MSP GM SB CS1912

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