Around 30 percent votes cast in Karnataka district polls

Friday, December 31, 2010

BANGALORE - Around 30 percent of over 15 million voters cast their ballots by noon Friday in the second of the three-phase elections to the local governing councils in Karnataka.

Voting is peaceful though there are some complaints about names missing in a few places, a state Election Commission official told IANS.

Polling is taking place in 17 districts to elect 595 district and 2,161 sub-district panchayat members.

The districts voting Friday are Chickmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Hasan, Kodagu, Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagara, Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkote, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Uttara Kannada, Davanagere and Koppal.

Like in the first phase that was held in 12 districts Dec 26, it is a three-way battle among the ruling BJP, the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular for most of the seats.

In the third phase, Gulbarga district will vote Jan 1.

Results will be known Jan 4 and will have a bearing on the stability of the Bharatiaya Janata Partys first government in south India as Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa himself is accused of involvement in illegal land deals.

The campaign has centered mainly on Yeddyurappa favouring his clsoe kin with allocation of prime land in and around Bangalore since he assumed office in May 2008.

Yeddyurappa managed to fend off pressure to quit by convincing the BJP central leadership that charges against him would not hold among voters in rural and semi-urban areas and the party would bag majority of the seats.

The last district council elections were held in 2005 when the BJP was not in power in the state. It came third in the overall seats tally with the Congress emerging as a clear winner.

Yeddyurappa and state BJP leaders have been talking of capturing power in at least 22 of the 30 district panchayats and over 100 out of the 176 sub-district panchayats.

The BJP’s poor show in these polls would result in heightened pressure on the party not only from the Congress and the JD-S but a section of the party itself to replace the chief minister. Yedyurappa has survived two rebellions against him by two of his ministers who are also mining magnates.

Filed under: Politics

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