The counting of votes in the May 12 elections to 222 of the 224 assembly constituencies began at 8 am. Heavy security is being deployed at the 38 counting centres in Karnataka, five of which are in Bengaluru. In Bengaluru, the police commissioner T Suneel Kumar has passed prohibitory orders under Section 144, which will be lifted on Sunday 6pm.
Except for candidates, agents who have authorised passes from respective political parties and media persons, the counting centres will be out of bounds for the public.
Speaking to reporters here, Chief Electoral Officer, Sanjeev Kumar said the polling was peaceful in the state barring a 58-year-old man dying of cardiac arrest in a hospital after collapsing in a polling station in Belthangadi taluk and a 58-year-old woman in Haveri trying to immolate herself at a polling station to protest the lack of infrastructure in her village.
Women and young voters had taken part in large numbers, he added. It was 65 percent in 2008 and 2004, 69 percent in 1989 and 1994, and 69 percent in the 1990 Assembly election.
The election to the Jayanagara seat in Bangalore was countermanded following the death of the sitting MLA and BJP candidate, B.N. Vijaykumar, on May 4.
Elections in two constituencies, Jayanagar and Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, both in Bengaluru District, were postponed earlier.
A record 72.36 per cent of the 5.07 crore electorate cast their votes, with 27,908 electors in defence services exercising their franchise through postal ballots.
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