Voting underway for Karnataka’s general poll final phase (Lead)

Bangalore, April 30 (Inditop) Polling got underway Thursday in 18,452 booths in 11 parliamentary constituencies in the central, coastal and southern parts of Karnataka in the final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The constituencies are Dharwad, Haveri, Bagalkot, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi-Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Davangere, Hassan, Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajnagar.

An estimated 15.5 million voters, including 7.52 million women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the final phase, said a poll official.

In the first phase April 23, polling took place in 17 constituencies.

The poll panel has made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth voting through 21,610 electronic voting machines (EVMs). More than 2,700 video recorders and digital cameras will record the voting, added the official.

Around 55,000 security personnel are on duty to maintain law and order.

More than 50,000 poll officials are conducting the voting with over 5,600 micro-observers deployed to ensure fair election.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda is locked in a triangular contest from Hassan against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

Former chief minister S. Bangarappa is in a straight fight against ruling BJP’s B.Y. Raghavendra, a rookie and eldest son of chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Other heavyweights whose electoral fate will be decided Thursday include former central minister B. Janardhana Poojary of the Congress in coastal Dakshina Kannada and ageing Kannada film star M.H. Ambareesh, also of Congress, in the southern Karnataka constituency of Mandya.

In three constituencies, Shimoga, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur, women voters outnumber men.

The number of women voters in Shimoga is 701,605 while there are 696,774 male voters; in Udupi-Chikmagalur there are 618,990 women and 584,860 men voters; while in Dakshina Kannada, there are 675,002 women and 658,174 men voters.