Amid Covid surge, 10 K’taka local bodies going to polls

Even as Karnataka is struggling to contain the massive Covid virus spread, the State Election Commission on Monday announced that it was going ahead with elections to 266 wards of eight local bodies in eight districts on Tuesday as per schedule.

According to the SEC’s directive, elections will be held to 10 local bodies with 266 wards spread over eight districts – Ballari City Corporation in Ballari, Vijaypura Municipal Corporation in Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara City Municipal Corporation and Channapattana City Municipal Corporation in Ramanagara district, Gudibande Town Panchayat of Chikkaballapura district, Bhadravati City Municipal Corporation and Teerthahalli Town Panchayat in Shivamogga district, Beluru City Municipal Council of Hassan district, Madikeri City corporation of Kodagu district and Bidar City Corporation in Bidar.

Among these eight districts, Bengaluru Rural, Chikkballapura, and Ramanagara districts share their borders with Bengaluru city which has recorded more than 20,000 cases.

“Along with these 10 local bodies, there is one ward each in Bidar and Haveri district are facing bypolls. These polls are scheduled to be held on Tuesday (tomorrow),” the circular said.

The SEC maintained in its directive that these bodies were going to polls after the High Court had directed them to conduct elections, and Covid safety protocols were in place.

As per the health bulletin released on Sunday night, Covid positive cases in Kodagu stood at 1,077, 864 in Bengaluru Rural, in 768 at Hassan, 732 in Ballari, 434 in Chikkaballapur, 418 in Shivamogga, 406 in Bidar, and 225 in Ramanagara.