As the second phase of polling begins for the 2019 General elections, 14 constituencies in southern Karnataka will go to the polls on April 18.
Despite the shortage of time and daunting heat, there was an intense campaign, especially in the last fortnight. Raids by Income Tax officials on close associates of candidates of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) stepped up poll heat and this was demonstrated by protests, including one led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy outside the I-T office in Bengaluru.
This time around, traditional rivals, the Congress and the JD(S), are fighting together in a general election for the first time, making it a straight fight between the coalition partners and the BJP in majority of the constituencies.
Here are the live updates.
Polling official dies of a heart attack in Chamarajanagar
A polling official died due to a heart attack while on duty at polling booth number 48 in Chamarajanagar on Thursday.
Officials said the deceased polling official Shantamurthy was the Principal of a college in Hanur.
Voters complain of deletion from list
Many voters are complaining that while they have their epic cards and continue to stay at the same residence, their names have been marked deleted in the voter list. “I voted at the same booth in may 2018 for assembly elections and I continue to stay at the same house. But now my vote is deleted. I don’t understand how,” said Nirmala S., a voter from Vidyaranyapura.
At a booth in Abbigere, nearly 70 entries were marked deleted leading to voters taking strong objection. “Many votes in my road are marked deleted,” said Anthony. Polling officials said they were helpless as they were going by the electoral lists given to them.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy casts his vote
Heavy rush at toll booths in Tumakuru
Voting has been delayed at five polling booths in Tumakuru district due to technical snags in the EVMs. The booths include no. 21 at Aralimaradapalya, booth 8 at Antharasanahalli, booth 26 at Sharada school in Tumakuru, booth 46 and 47 at Alilughatta in Gubbi taluk and booth 79 in Kunigal of Tumakuru district.
Toll booths on the Tumakuru highway have been reporting huge rush that authorities said is very unusual for a Thursday traffic.
While those heading out on vacation or to their homes after voting were a part of the traffic, a large number were those heading out to Tumakuru and Hassan for voting. At several spots utility vehicles packed with people have been lining up the toll plazas.
“A large number of voters from Hassan and Tumakuru who reside in Bengaluru would normally go to their respective places for voting on the polls day. Probably, last evenings rains also increased home returning traffic today,” Chandre Gowda of Tumakuru said.
Acknowledging that the traffic has been quite heavy since morning, a woman employee at the toll plaza said: “Don’t you know elections are happening today. People are going to vote. Packed vehicles are going since morning.”
Mandya has only 4.87% polling in first two hours
Mandya Lok Sabha constituency witnessed only 4.87 percent of voting in the first two hours.
Malavalli Assembly constituency witnessed 5.08% voting, Madduru 4.19%, Melukote 7%, Mandya 6.34%, Srirangapatna 3.99%.
Nagmangala saw 2.10% polling, Krishnarajapet 5.15% and Krishnaraja Nagar recorded 5.11% of voting till 9 a.m., sources at the Election Commission said.
Meanwhile, Hassan constituency saw 7% voting till 9 a.m.
Dakshina Kannada sees 14% polling till 9 a.m.
14% polling in Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency till 9 a.m.
Polling resumed in Kattepura in Arakalgud taluk after a reconduct of mock poll. Agent representing the BJP had raised objections over the result in the mock poll.
Nirmala Sitharaman casts her vote
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cast her vote in Jayanagar in Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency.
Pramod Madhwaraj casts his vote
Pramod Madhwaraj, Congress candidate for Udupi-Chikkamagaluru parliamentary constituency, cast his vote at the Narayanaguru School polling booth at Malpe in Udupi on Thursday. He was accompanied by his mother and former Minister, Manorama Madhwaraj, who also cast her vote in the same booth.
Polling delayed in Mangaluru booth due to EVM malfunction
Voting at a booth in Cascia High School in Jeppu here got delayed for about 20 minutes following malfunction of the EVM.
The problem in the EVM was noticed after 43 votes were polled in the morning. Authorities immediately called the service engineer and then replaced the malfunctioning EVM with another EVM that was available.
Polling was at a brisk pace in several booths in Mangaluru. Long queues were seen in many booths including those in Kankanady, Ladyhill and Kottara Chowki areas.
Meanwhile, a technical problem during a mock poll has delayed polling at Kattepura in Arakalgud taluk. The officials and party agents noticed differences in votes polled with respect to parties during the mock poll.
Prajwal Revanna on temple visits before going to vote
JD(S) candidate Prajwal Revanna, his father H.D.Revanna are on a visit to temples in Holenarsipur before voting on the day.
At present they are offering prayers at Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Holenarsipur. In a few minutes, they will be reaching Paduvalahippe village to vote.
Problem of plenty in Belagavi
Poll officials in Belagavi face a unique problem. They need to find tables that can accommodate four ballot units of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT).
There are 57 candidates in the fray for the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat. Each ballot unit has slots for 15 names and the None of the Above option and therefore each booth has to have place for one big table or two small tables to hold the five machines. The control unit of the EVM has to be placed near the polling officer’s table and hence the room has to be spacious enough to house all the furniture and equipment.