Karnataka polls record 65 pct turnout

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2013 18:00 hrs

Around 65 percent voters cast their ballots as polling ended peacefully for the Assembly elections in Karnataka on Sunday, officials said.

A total of 223 seats went to polls in the 225-member assembly during the day. In one seat the polling was postponed.

Amid tight security, polling started at 7 am and concluded at 6 pm.

While no major untoward incident was reported, Congress workers and supporters of independent candidate and Minister Varthur Prakash clashed in Kolar.

About 3,000 candidates are in the fray for the polls for 224 seats of the 225-member assembly. One member is nominated.

Besides main rivals like the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Janata Dal-Secular, the newly launched Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) by former state chief minister BS Yeddyurappa is also in the fray. It remains to be seen how Yeddyurappa fares in the poll or if he at least spoils the crisis-ridden BJP´s chances to return to power.

He is also among the morning voters and after casting his ballots said his new party would win the polls.

Among other notable voters was BJP senior leader Venkiah Naidu.

Naidu after casting his ballots also slammed the Congress at the centre over the corruption issue, especially with the new Railway promotion scam involving the Railway Minister´s nephew surfacing.

How the Railway scam just two days ahead of the polls affects Congress also remains to be seen.

Karnataka last week witnessed several political leaders campaigning in the state, right from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

The security of the state has been upped with as many as 1.35 lakh police personnel being deployed on Sunday.

The security personnel comprises of 60,000 from the state, 20,000 home guards and rest from central paramilitary and neighbouring states.

More than 4.36 crore people were eligible to take part in the election.

The counting of votes will take place on May 8.

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