About 35 to 40 pc polling reported in third phase till 1500 hrs

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Bangalore, May 22(UNI) About 35 to 40 per cent polling was reported in over 12,300 booths till 1500 hrs for 69 assembly seats in Eight districts in the third and final phase of elections to Karantaka assembly today.

The polling, which began with dull note, picked up the momentum later in the day and voters were seen standing in long queues braving blazing sun.

Karnataka Chief Electoral officer M N Vidyashankar said polling had been peaceful in almost all places and no untoward incidents were reported. A sporadic incidents of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were reported in some booths, however it was attended to immediately.

Gulbarga district recorded an highest average of 40 per cent despite soaring temperature of over 42 degree Celsius. Former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge were among the top leaders contesting from the district.

In Bhogur polling station in Khanapur taluk in the bordering district of Belgaum the polling was suspended for some time following objection by the public over the behaviour of a Presiding Officer who had allegedly insisted voters to cast their votes for a particular candidate.

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.

The polling was peaceful and no untoward incident reported so far, police sources said.

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