Mangaluru, Apr 19: Polling for the 17th Lok Sabha elections in Dakshina Kannada passed peacefully with 77.25% of voters braving the sun to exercise their franchise on Thursday.
In the 2014 general elections, 77.18% of the voters had exercised their rights.
Voting commenced at a brisk pace early in the morning in urban areas while people turned up slowly at polling stations in rural and semi-urban areas. Long queues were witnessed in almost all polling stations of Mangaluru and other taluk headquarters.
However, voting lost its steam by afternoon as people did not venture out under the heat. It picked up post 4 p.m.
According to an official release, 15.49% voters had exercised their franchise by 9 a.m.; 32.34% by 11 a.m.; 48.85% by 1 p.m.; 60.62% by 3 p.m.; 72.3% by 5 p.m., and 77.25% at the end of polling hours, 6 p.m.
As in the past, Sullia Assembly segment witnessed a heavy turnout with 84.10% and Mangaluru City South witnessing the lowest with 69.15%.
Belthangady segment witnessed 80.92% polling, Moodbidri 73.17%, Mangaluru North 74.83%, Mangaluru 75.62%, Bantwal 80.31%, and Puttur witnessed 80.71% turnout during the day.
During polling, the Election Commission had to change 16 control and ballot units of electronic voting machines and 38 voter verifiable paper audit trail machines. Immediate solutions were offered from the control room to problems reported, the release said.
While the EC had banned the use of mobile phones by voters inside polling stations, some polling officials extended this ban for the entire polling station premises, including a 100m periphery.
Otherwise, police personnel generally cautioned voters in queues either to switch off their phones or put them on the silent mode before entering the station.
The EC’s clarification that voter slips issued by it or polling agents are not a valid proof of identification appeared not to have gone across the board as many voters had brought just these slips at polling stations.
There were a few complaints of missing names or deletion of names from the rolls in the constituency.
Contesting candidates, Nalin Kumar Kateel from the BJP and Mithun M. Rai from the Congress, thanked voters for turning out in large numbers and the Election Commission for ensuring a free and fair election.
Here’s details of voter turnout in 8 Assembly segments of Dakshina Kananda LS seat:
Peaceful polls in Dakshina Kannada: 77.90 per cent turnout; Sullia highest