Voting for final phase of Gram Panchayat polls in K'taka ends; 80.71 polling percent recorded

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(Eds: Updates voting percentage, adds more details) Bengaluru, Dec 27 (PTI) The polling for second and final phase of Gram Panchayat elections in Karnataka concluded on Sunday with 80.71 per cent of voters exercising their franchise till 5 pm.

The counting of votes will be taken up on December 30.

The State election commission said in a statement that 80.71 per cent voting took place without any major untoward incident.

The polling began at 7 am and came to a close at 5 pm, the state election commission officials said.

Voting took place across 2,709 village panchayats in 109 Taluks of the state.

Officials noted that 1,05,431 candidates were in the fray for 39,378 seats at 20,728 booths in the final phase.

A total of 3,697 candidates have been elected unopposed already.

The first phase of the election had taken place on December 22.

In all, elections took place in 5,728 villages in 226 Taluks of the state for 72,616 seats.

As many as 2,22,814 candidates contested the election whereas 8,074 candidates were elected unopposed.

There were 2.94 lakh voters in the Panchayat elections.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks and social distancing were made mandatory.

The Commission had made special arrangements for the COVID-19 infected people to cast their votes.

Accordingly, towards the end of the day 122 COVID-19 patients turned up and exercised their franchise.

The number of voters in each booth was reduced from 1,500 to 1,000.

For the final phase, 80,000 policemen and security personnel were deployed for the safe conduct of elections.

Besides them, Anganwadi, ASHA workers and Health Department officials were also roped in for poll duty.

Though these polls don't take place on party symbols, all political parties have put in efforts to ensure that the candidate supported by them wins, so as to have their hold on grassroot level politics, which may prove advantageous for them in taluk or zilla panchayat and even assembly polls whenever it happens. PTI GMS ROH ROH