Second Phase polling peaceful, 65-70 per cent polling registered

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Bangalore, May 16 (UNI) The second phase of polling in Karnataka for 66 Assembly seats was incident free, even as an estimated 65 per cent to 70 per cent turnout reported in 12,286 booths spread out in 10 districts.

According to Election Commission sources "an estimated 65 to 70 per cent voters of the total 1,10,26,524, including 55,02,247 women have exercised their franchise. It was totally incident free even in naxal inflicted areas of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chickmagalur and Shimoga districts." Not deterred by the last night killing of two people by the naxalites, 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 and at the end it was estimated at 65 per cent> polling was reported. In other two naxal infected districts (Chikamagalur and Dakshina Kannada) also the turnout was more than 50 per cent.

The official sources said that in Gangavathi assembly seat the police seized cash Rs 2.65 lakhs allegedly meant for distribution to the voters by the members of a political party. Two persons were arrested and impounded five two-wheelers from their possession.

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 poll in the second phase elections are Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Chickmagalur, Shimoga and Davanagere, Raichur, Chitradurga, Bellary and Koppal.

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

The election prospects of 589 candidates (25 women) and political stalwarts including that of BJP Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, his arch rival S Bangarappa (SP), Congress leaders R V Deshapande, M P Prakash, Mine lords Anil Lad (all Cong) and BJP's Sriramulu, K S Ishwarappa and others were sealed in 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 GM1810

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