Results declared early in Bidar where EVMs were deployed
As the gram panchayat results in many places were yet to be declared since counting of ballot papers was in progress, in Bidar district where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had been deployed, counting of votes was completed in less than six hours.
Counting began around 8.45 a.m. and was over by around 2.30 pm, and the results of all 178 gram panchayats had been declared. Incidentally, Bidar was the only district in the State where EVMs had been deployed. As many as 1,253 EVMs had been used in the elections.
Officials said that the, first round of counting of results was completed at around noon. “We have recorded and declared the results of the first round of counting around noon. The second round of voting was completed soon,” Deputy Commissioner and district electoral officer R Ramachandran said. Pace of counting picked up after the second round the next rounds were over in two and a half hours, he added.
“The state election commission gave us a set of procedures and protocol to be followed for counting. All the districts are following that and we are no exception. The returning officers in the taluks are cross verifying the results in different phases, before declaring the results. We have followed all the rules but still managed to declare the results, due to the EVM machines,” he added.
Age no bar
At 95, Gujjamma Shankrappa Hosman of Bidar district, became one among the oldest persons in the country to win in the gram panchayat polls. She won from Muttangi village near Humnabad with 287 votes against her younger opponent who got 254 votes. Though Ms. Hosmani is unlettered, she made sure her children are educated. One of her sons is a lawyer in the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru.
Dead but elected
In Belagavi, a candidate who died three days ago, was declared winner in Kakkeri Gram Panchayat. C.B. Amboji, 64, who died due to illness, won the highest votes in his village. He got a lead of 414 votes. A lawyer by profession, he had served as the chairman of the Bishtamma Devi temple committee for 15 years.
Elected through a toss
The election could not be as close as this. In several cases, with candidates registering a tie in number of votes polled, officials resorted to a toss to declare the winner. After candidates Shrishail Hipparagi and Ravutappa Alur secured the same number of votes (311) in the second ward of Hebbal Gram Panchayat at Nidagundi taluk of Vijayapura district, the winner was decided through a toss and the former won.
Victory margin just one
Molakalmur taluk of Chitradurga district registered two cases of victory with a margin of just one vote. According to election officials, Jangama Kamayya defeated Gudlanayak (166) by a margin of one vote in Chiktummi constituency of Tumakuru Halli gram panchayat. In Yarapota Jogihalli constituency of Rayapur gram panchayat, Basamma (152 votes) defeated Thayamma (151 votes).
Transgenders register victories
The elections also saw transgenders registering victories. A transgender has recorded a narrow victory over an opponent in the gram panchayat elections from 7th Block in Saligrama in K R Nagar taluk in Mysuru district. According to sources, the transgender Devika won by a margin of 5 votes against her nearest rival in the elections. Officials said candidates belonging to third gender contest from general wards.
Nomination from jail
Mr. Bopanna managed to win his fourth term as a gram panchayat member even after filing his nomination from the jail. He was in jail in connection with a case booked against him for allegedly passing casteist remarks. He filed nominations for the Yemmegundi ward in Polybetta gram panchayat in Kodagu district’s Virajpet taluk from the prison. He was released from jail three days before the December 27 polling, but he managed to win the elections by 61 votes.
Polling official dies
A polling officer died due to heart attack while on duty at a counting centre at Pushpa Convent in Periyapatna of Mysuru district. Bore Gowda, 52, an Assistant Executive Engineer of PWD, was posted as polling officer for N. Shettihalli Gram Panchayat in Periyapatna. While counting of votes was in progress at the centre, Mr Bore Gowda experienced severe chest pain. He died on the way to the hospital, according to officials. A native of K R Pet taluk, Mr Bore Gowda was residing in Kushalnagar in Kodagu district and was commuting to his office in Periyapatna daily.
Man held with knife
In Shahapur, the police held a man for carrying a knife to the counting centre set up at Government Degree College where counting of 22 constituencies was being held. During frisking at the entrance, The police took Mohammad Asfaq, native of Sagar village in Shahapur taluk, in possession of a knife. He was immediately taken into custody. A case under section 188 of IPC, 97 of Karnataka Police Act and violation of section 144 that was imposed around the counting centre has been registered in Shahapur police station.
(With inputs from Rishikesh B. Desai in Belagavi, Girish Pattanshetti in Hubballi, Raviprasad Kamila in Mangaluru and Laiqh A. Khan in Mysuru)