25 pc polling reported in third phase till noon

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Bangalore, May 22 (UNI) An average of about 25 per cent voter turnout was reported till noon in the third phase for 69 Assembly segments in eight districts of North Karnataka.

The polling, which began in dull note, has picked up the momentum with voters seen standing in long queues at the polling booths across all eight districts.

Karnataka Chief Electoral officer M N Vidyashankar said polling had been peaceful in almost all places and no untoward incidents were reported.

By noon Gulbarga reported the highest voter turnout of 27 per cent followed by Dharwad 25, Bagalkot 24.5, Bidar 22.2, Gadag 22, Haveri 21 and Belgaum 17 per cent, he said.

Except a few cases of malfunctioning of EVMs that resulted in stoppage of voting for some time the polling process was proceeding smoothly, he added.

Voting was delayed for more than four hours due to non-availability of photo ID cards in Aladatti village in Kalghatgi constituency from where Santosh Lad, brother of 'Mine King' Ashok Lad is contesting.

A total of 710 voters in the village were not allowed to vote since they did not possess the ID cards. They could not produce ration cards as proof either as the Tahsildar had collected ration cards from all the houses for official purpose.

Miffed village elders decided to boycott the polls. District officials rushed to the village and convinced the villagers and allowed them to vote after the elders confirming the identity of the voters in writing.

In Dharwad district about 30 per cent polling reported till 1200 hrs.

No untoward incident reported so far.

UNI TEAM MSP MV KK KN1400

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