Incident free election, 35 per cent polling in K'taka till 2 PM

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Bangalore, May 10 (UNI) Barring minor incidents, an estimated 35 per cent polling was reported till 1400 hrs in the first phase of polling for 89 Assembly seats in 11 districts of Karnataka today.

The polling, which began on a sedate note has picked up momentum with large number of voters seen standing in front of the polling booths for their turn.

Incidents of people protesting against non-inclusion of their names in the voter list despite the Election Commission giving Voters ID was reported in several places.

Karnataka is the first state in the country to go to polls after delimitation process was undertaken. Due to withdrawal of support by JD(S) led to Mid-term Election in the State.

Nearly 1.73 crore voters would be deciding the fate of 953 candidates in this phase.

Till 1300 hrs lowest of 24 per cent polling was reported in Kolar District, while highest of 41 per cent in Chamarajanagara District followed by Bangalore, Hassan (26 per cent each), Tumkur (27), BBMP and Mysore (33 each), Kodagu (34), Chikkaballapura (35), Ramanagara (39), Bangalore Rural (35) and Mandya (39).

Director General and Inspector General of Police Sri Kumar told UNI that the polling was peaceful except for a minor incident of workers of two political parties exchanging blows in Arasikere town in Hassan district.

However, police intervened and pacified both the groups and situation was brought under control.

In some booths in the city, Tumkur, Mysore and Hassan the polling was stopped for some time due to technical snag in the EVM. However, it was rectified immediately by changing the EVMs.

In Mandya police seized illicit liquor worth Rs One lakh stored in a farm house allegedly belonging to BJP candidate. Like wise in K R Pet police seized spirit worth Rs 75,000 from a house allegedly belonging to Bahujan Samajawadi Party.

In R T Nagar in the city, 30 persons from Andhra Pradesh who were allegedly brought for bogus voting were arrested by the police.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister S M Krishna exercised his franchise in Somanahalli in Mandya District.

(Eds: Pick up suitably from earlier series.) UNI TEAM MSP-SR HVB1528

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