Bengaluru braces up for civic polls on Saturday, Aug 22

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Bengaluru, Aug 21:  India's tech hub will go to polls on Saturday, Aug 22 to elect civic representatives for deciding its fortunes over the next five years.

"Preparations to conduct peaceful elections in 197 of the 198 civic wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are completed," Karnataka state election commissioner P.N. Srinivasachari told reporters here Thursday.

Bengaluru gears up for BBMP polls

Elections will be not be needed in the Hongasandra ward (number 189) where Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Bharati Ramachandra was on August 13 declared elected unanimously, after the poll panel rejected the nomination of Congress candidate K. Maheshwari for submitting a false caste certificate.

The century-old BBMP was expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase wards from 100 to 198.

With the week-long hectic campaign concluding Thursday evening, leaders of political parties, their cadres, supporters and the 1,200 candidates in the fray have switched to door-to-door canvassing in their respective wards.

"Polling will be conducted in 6,463 booths spread over 197 wards across the city from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and re-polling, if any, on August 24, while counting of votes will be on August 25," said Srinivasachari.

A total of 9,310 EVMs and 11,635 ballot units will be used for the exercise.

Polling will be conducted in 6,463 booths spread over 197 wards

"Around 7.4 million (73,88,526) voters are registered to exercise franchise for electing their corporators from 197 wards," the commissioner said.

Police identified 1,700 polling booths as highly sensitive and 1,900 as sensitive.

"About 20,000 police personnel, including home guards will be deployed at all polling booths to maintain law and order and ensure peaceful voting across the city," said Police Commissioner N.S. Megharik.

About 4,000 constables and 7,000 home guards will reach the city on Friday from other districts across the state for election duty.

Besides mainstream political parties -- Congress, BJP and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), regional outfits such as Vatal Chaluvali Paksha and independents are in the fray.

In the previous five-year term (2010-2015), the BJP ruled the BBMP for the first time by winning in 116 wards, as against 62 wards by Congress, 14 by JD-S and eight by independents.

IANS

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