Voting began on Saturday on a brisk note across Karnataka to elect its 15th Legislative Assembly for a five-year term.
“Peaceful polling is being held in 222 of the 224 constituencies, including 36 segments reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC), 15 for Scheduled Tribes (ST) under tight security,” an official told IANS here.
Denizens of Bengaluru were seen lined up outside polling booths from 6.30 a.m. to beat the rush in casting their ballots as voting began at 7 a.m.
Polling in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar segment has been postponed to May 28 following the voter ID cards case and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat following the death of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.
In all, voting is being conducted across 26 of the 28 constituencies in the city.
During the initial hour of voting, there were reports of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioning in some booths; power crisis in a polling station in Rajajinagar seat; voters names missing at few booths and women clad in burqa made to reveal their faces at a Belagavi polling booth — that led to a few hiccups.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was among the first to cast his vote in Shikaripura segment in Shivamogga district of Malnad region.
The state has over 5.06-crore electorate, including 2.56-crore men, 2.5-crore women and over 5,000 who identify themselves as the third gender.
A total of 15.42 lakh voters, aged 18-19, have registered to cast their ballot for the first time.
Voting is being held in 58,008 polling stations of 30 districts across the state, with 600 of them as pink booths, manned by all-women personnel, and 28 ethnic booths.
Over 1.5 lakh personnel have been stationed across the state for the election, with paramilitary forces from 585 state and central companies at 20,826 polling booths, including 12,001 critical booths.
Voting will continue till 6 p.m. and votes will be counted on May 15.