Campaign for final phase of polling in K'taka ends

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Bangalore, May 20 (UNI) Campaign for the third and final phase of polling to 69 Assembly seats in eight districts of Karnataka drew to a close at 1700 hrs today.

As many as 1.19 crore electorate would exercise their franchise on May 22 from 0700 hrs to 1700 hrs to decide the electoral fortunes of 699 candidates, including 284 independents.

The districts which go to the polls in the third phase are Belgaum, Dharwad, Haveri, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Gadag.

The electoral fortunes of stalwarts, including former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, KPCC president and former Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, former Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council H K Patil, former Ministers Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, Jagdish Shettar, C M Udasi and Govind Karjol, would be sealed on Thursday.

Mr Singh, aiming for a record win, had represented Jewargi eight times consecutively, while Mr Patil was testing his popularity for the first time in an Assembly election.

The top brass of all, parties, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, AICC general Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad were among those who had campaigned for their respective party candidates.

The turnout in the third phase of polls was expected to be low due to the oppressive heat condition in the northern part of Karnataka. While 66 per cent polling was recorded in 89 Assembly constituencies in the first phase, as many as 66.3 per cent polling was reported in the second phase.

Counting of votes would be taken up on May 25 in all the 29 districts.

UNI Team-MV GD SP NS1827

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