Karnataka witnesses over 55 percent voter turnout in final phase

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New Delhi, May 22 : Between 55-58 percent of the voters in Karnataka turned out today to exercise their franchise during the third and final phase of the Assembly polls. Voting took place in a total of 69 seats.

This was less than the voter turnout as compared to the first and second phases, which saw nearly 62 percent of the voters casting their votes.

Earlier, a State Election Commission official confirmed that till noon nearly 20 percent voters had caste their votes.

Eight districts in North Karnataka which went to polls today are Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Bidar, Gulbaga, Bijapur, Bagalakot and Belgaum.

An estimated 11.7 million voters, including 5.8 million women, were registered to exercise their franchise and decide the fate of 699 candidates, including several independents.

About 56,000 security personnel were deployed to ensure smooth polling and prevent untoward incidents.

Some of the prominent candidates who were in the fray are former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, KPCC President and former Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, former Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council H. K. Patil, former Ministers Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, Jagdish Shettar, C.M.Udasi and Govind Karjol.

The eight districts have 12,389 polling stations, of which 4,358 have been identified as 'hyper-sensitive' and 4,038 as 'sensitive'. According to sources, special precautions have been taken in communally sensitive Hubli and Belgaum.

Hundreds of micro-observers and central observers have been deployed to check bogus voting and other malpractices.

The first two phases of polling was conducted on May 10 in 89 constituencies spread over 11 districts region and on May 16 in 66 segments across 10 districts of Karnataka.

Counting of votes will take place on May 25.

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