Karnataka: Udupi responds enthusiastically to phase II of gram panchayat polls | Mangaluru News – Times of India

UDUPI: Spirit of democracy came vibrantly alive on Sunday when the second phase of polls to 86 gram panchayats in Karkala, Kundapur and Kaup taluks was held. The polling was by and large incident free but for a small exchange of words between supporters of Amparu in Kundapur taluk over the issue of ferrying voters to the booth. Baindoor MLA B M Sukumar Shetty flouted Covid-19 norms by casting his vote without wearing a mask.
Deputy commissioner G Jagadeesha told TOI that the voting in the three taluks was peaceful with no report of any untoward incident. Overall, the voting percentage for three taluks was 75.42% with Kundapur recording 76.09%, Karkala 76.21% and Kaup 73.08%. The overall voting percentage for the second phase was better than 74.06% recorded in the first phase of polls held on December 22. Counting will be taken up on December 30.
Police intervened swiftly to defuse the tension created in Amparu, DC said, adding he will seek a report from the polling officer of Bellala-2 polling station where the MLA exercised his franchise in apparent contravention of Covid19 norms. The enthusiasm of voters was evident right through the day, DC said adding the voting percentage that stood at 12.8% at 9am was 31.23% at 11am, 50.3% at 1pm and 61.7% at 3pm. Voting started at 7am.
A minor disagreement over what constituted violation of model code of conduct came to the fore at government higher primary school at Soodi in Shirlalu in Karkala taluk. Arun Prabha, project director, Udupi district urban development cell, nodal officer who spotted a candidate’s agent with saffron colour shawl asked the presiding officer to ensure the agent removed it, who refused to comply on grounds it did not constitute a violation.
Authorities had beefed up security in sensitive and hyper-sensitive booths where they anticipated clashes between workers of political parties by roping in extra KSRP platoons. Additional police staff was also deployed in polling booths in Maala bordering Western Ghats in Karkala taluk, categorised as naxal affected area. However, police were not called in to action in any of these booths as voters went about their business enthusiastically.

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Sagar Biswas

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