Karnataka local body election 2020: Voting for 3,019 gram panchayats underway
Bengaluru, Dec 22: A total of 3,019 panchayats in 117 taluks across Karnataka will go for polling in the first phase of Gram Panchayat elections today. According to reports, a total of 1.17 lakh candidates are in the fray for 43,238 seats. Voting will be held between 7am to 5pm.
It can be seen that the election is taking place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have tested positive or under primary/secondary contacts can vote in the last hour of polling. Though these polls don't take place on party symbols, all political parties have put in efforts to ensure that the candidate supported by them wins. A total of 4,377 candidates have been elected unopposed already.
According to reports, Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in Bidar district and ballot papers will be used in the rest of the state.
Karnataka has a total of 6,004 gram panchayats out of which polls are being conducted in 5,762 gram panchayats. According to poll officials, 162 gram panchayats whose term is yet to be completed will not be going to the polls.
Elaborate security and COVID related precautionary measures have been made for the voting. Owing to the pandemic, the state election commission made the wearing of masks and maintaining social distance mandatory during voting. Hand sanitisers would also be made available in polling booths. The number of voters in each booth has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000.
The second phase of polls is scheduled on December 27. Counting for both phases will be held on December 30.