Vote counting for Karnataka district polls beginsBy IANS
Monday, January 3, 2011
BANGALORE - Counting of votes polled for the Karnataka local governing councils began at 171 centres across the state Tuesday morning.
Over 65 percent of the 21 million voters, nearly half of them women, cast their ballots in the elections to the 30 zila (district) and 176 taluka (sub-district) panchayats Dec 26, Dec 31 and Jan 1.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the two opposition parties, the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular, are locked in a three-way fight in majority of the 1,013 zila and 3,659 taluka panchayat seats.
Most of the results are expected to be announced by noon as electronic voting machines were used in these polls for the first time.
Winning majority of the zila panchayats and taluka panchayats has become essential for Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to retain his chair against the backdrop of the controversy over him favouring his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari has defended his party’s first chief minister in south India, saying Yeddyurappa’s actions might be “immoral” but not “illegal”.
This is the first elections to the local governing councils after the BJP came to power in the state in May 2008.