All set for counting of votes in Karnataka on Tuesday

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Bengaluru, May 14 (IANS) The counting of votes cast in 222 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka on May 12 will be taken up on Tuesday morning, an official said on Monday.

“All arrangements have been made for counting of votes in 222 seats from 8 a.m. onwards at 38 centres in 30 districts, including five in Bengaluru where polling was held in 26 of the 28 segments,” Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters here.

A record 72.36 per cent of the 5.07 crore electorate cast their votes, with 27,908 electors in defence services exercising their franchise through postal ballots.

The Election Commission has deployed 16,662 personnel for counting of votes amid tight security.

“Postal ballots will be counted first before the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are opened,” Kumar said.

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In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women contested the 222 seats, including 36 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.

Election in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar was postponed to May 28 due to seizure of voter ID cards and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4. Vote counting in RR Nagar will be taken up on May 31.

The ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fought in all 222 constituencies while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) fielded candidates for 201 seats. Its ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) contested 21 seats.

There were 1,155 Independents and about 800 candidates from national, regional and fringe parties.

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The highest voting percentage of 84.55 was recorded in Ramanagaram district, followed by 84.19 in Chikkaballapur, 84.03 in Bengaluru Rural, 82.53 in Mandya and 82.51 in Tumakuru.

The lowest voting percentage of 54.72 was in Bengaluru Urban, followed by Kalaurgi 62.68, Raichur 65.80 and Yadgir 65.84.

Among the prominent candidates are Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Chamundeshwari district in Mysuru and Badami in Bagalkot and his son Yatindra from Varuna in Mysuru.

The others are the BJP’s chief ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa from Shikaripura in Shivamogga district, JD-S state President H.D. Kumaraswamy from Ramanagara and Channapatna in Ramanagaram district and BJP’s Lok Sabha member B.R. Sriramulu from Badami and Molakamuru (Reserved) in Chitradurga district.

Yeddyurappa, 75, is also the party’s Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga and the party’s state unit President, who became its first Chief Minister in south India when the BJP came to power for the first time on its own in the May 2008 elections.

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BJP’s former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is also in the fray from Hubballi-Dharwad Central.

–IANS

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