Amidst tight security, the polling of votes for elections to 65 Wards of Mysore City Corporation (MCC) began in city at 7 am today.

Approximately 6.2 lakh voters are likely to exercise their franchise to decide the electoral fortunes of 433 candidates in 686 polling booths, manned by more than 3,000 election officials. The polling is scheduled to conclude at 5 pm all over the city.

The voting, which began on a dull note, picked up momentum as the day progressed and serpentine queues were seen in front of many polling booths in Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Narasimharaja Assembly constituencies of the city.

In Chamaraja Assembly constituency, MLA H.S. Shankaralingegowda, accompanied by his wife Nagalakshmi Shankaralingegowda and son Nagesh Preetham, cast their votes at a booth in Vijaya Vittala School premises in Saraswathipuram as former Mayor Vasu cast his vote at a polling booth in Mahajana High School premises in Jayalakshmipuram.

Former Union Minister and MLA V. Sreenivasa Prasad, his wife Bhagyamma and daughter Poonam Prasad also exercised their franchise at Mahajana Public School in J.L. Puram.

In Krishnaraja constituency, District In-Charge Minister S.A. Ramdas and his mother Sarojamma were among the first to cast their votes at a polling booth situated at the Institute of Education premises in Vidyaranyapuram.

In Narasimharaja Assembly constituency, MLA Tanveer Sait accompanied by wife Shameena and mother-in-law Ayesha cast their ballots at polling booth number 512 under Ward 52 of MCC in D. Banumaiah Polytechnic College, Udayagiri.

Candidates of various political parties were seen bringing voters on various modes of transport to the polling booths besides indulging in campaigning at an area within 100 mts. of the polling booths, thus totally violating the Election Code of Conduct.

Many candidates were seen distributing Nandini buttermilk to voters in large numbers thus making it the most sought after product in the area.

Heavy polling at St. Antony’s Church: With long queues of voters lining up at six booths, St. Antony’s Church premises of ward 59 saw the heaviest turn out of voters in the constituency and needless to say a large number of candidates were seen indulging in hectic last minute campaigning to woo the voters.

Missing names: Meanwhile, Star of Mysore office was flooded with calls from many eligible voters, especially from Hebbal area complaining about the missing of their names in the voters list following which a large number of voters had to return home disappointed despite being in possession of the voters’ ID card issued by the Election Commission of India.

EVMs develop snags: Many Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) located at various polling booths at Gnanaganga School, Mysore Medical College and other places developed snags while the process of polling was on. However, technicians, who rushed to the booths, managed to set things right which resulted in a delay of about 30 minutes.

Low voter turnout: There was a low voter turnout in areas such as Yadavagiri, Metagalli and Brindavan Extension in the first hour of the polling. The polling stations had recorded around 8-10 per cent turnout by 9 am. However, post 9 am people were seen coming in large numbers to cast their votes.

Elaborate security: The District Administration had made elaborate security arrangements to ensure free and fair election. Each polling booth was been deployed with a Constable. The Police department was seen video-recording the polling stations. This apart, the Sectoral Magistrates, Election Observers, District Administration and Mysore City Corporation officials were also visiting the polling stations to ensure the election process was conducted as per the regulations.

Boards with information about the respective ward, name of the candidates, their parties and symbols were displayed near the polling booths.

Though the outcome will impact the morale of all the parties in the fray, focus is mainly on the show the BJP will put up. This is the first major election the BJP is facing after coming to power in the State for the first time in May 2008.

KJP candidate roughed up: H.V. Bhaskar, KJP candidate for Ward 4 was this morning roughed up by Police who accompanied a team of election officials when he tried to stop their vehicle near Srikantha Girls School, protesting against missing of several names in the voters list.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore