An estimated 65.23 per cent of the 2.43 crore electorate voted on Tuesday in Karnataka’s remaining 14 Lok Sabha seats across the western and northern regions, an official said.
“The voter turnout was 65.23 per cent at 6.00 p.m when the polling formally ended. The final turnout will be higher as many voters were still in the queue in several booths when the gates were closed,” a senior poll official told IANS.
Maintaining its lead and momentum, Shimoga in Malnad region registered the highest voting among the 14 seats with 73.59 per cent, followed by Chikkodi 72.74 per cent, Uttara Kannada 71.70 per cent and Haveri 70.31 per cent.
“Though heavy rains and thunderstorm in many parts of Shimoga late afternoon held back voters from going to the booths, the delay was made up by surge in polling after 4.00 p.m,” said the official.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s BY Raghavendra is the candidate in Shimoga against Madhu Bangarappa of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) — both sons of state’s former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP and late S. Bangarappa of the Congress, respectively.
The least turnout was in Raichur (ST) 56.56 per cent, followed by Gulbarga (ST) 56.86 per cent, Davanagere 59.89 per cent and Bijapur (SC) 60.28 per cent.
Polling percentage in other six seats were 69.25 in Bagalkot, 67.27 in Dharwad, 67.00 in Koppal, 65.65 in Belgaum, 65.17 in Bellary (ST) and 60.51 in Bidar.
“Voting picked up after 4.00 p.m as it dipped when the weather was very hot between 1.00 p.m and 4.00 p.m, as it’s peak summer season in the regions where polling is being held,” said the official.
Union Minister and BJP’s firebrand candidate Anant Kumar Hegde is in the fray for the fourth time from Uttar Kannada.
A Congress leader in the 16th Lok Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge is contesting for a hat-trick from Gulbarga (SC) against BJP’s Umesh Jadav.