67 per cent polling in ULBs, NOTA option given for first time

Source: DC | Published on 1st September 2018, 1:22 PM | State News |

Bengaluru: The elections to the 102 urban local bodies, considered a litmus test for the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in the state, recorded a voter turnout of 67 per cent on Friday.  While the coalition partners are getting ready to join hands for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, they fought the ULB elections independently except in a few local bodies, where they had a tacit understanding to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. Voters were given the  NOTA option for the first time in the urban local body polls that were held in 3,897 polling booths across the state. 

“There was a good turnout with the voting percentage touching 66 per cent at 5 pm and we expect it to  reach 67 percent at the end of the day. It was  peaceful and  no re-polling has been ordered anywhere,”  said State Election Commissioner of   P.N. Srinivachari. He revealed that the commission was considering holding elections to the remaining three urban local bodies of Somwarpet, Virajpet and Kushalnagar in the second week of  October at the request of the Kodagu deputy commissioner owing to the ongoing relief work in the region following the recent landslides and floods.  

“I will visit Kodagu before that to oversee the preparations for the election,” Mr. Srinivasachari added. Counting of votes for the local bodies that went to polls on Friday will be held on September 3.   As many as 8, 340 candidates contested the polls that were held in 2,529 wards of 29 City Municipal Councils, 53 Town Municipal Councils, 23 Town Panahayats and  135 wards of the three city corporations of Shivamogga, Tumakuru and Mysuru.

In the 2013 urban local bodies elections, the  Congress had won the highest number of seats of 4,976, and the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular) had  won 905 seats each, less than the independents, who won 1206 seats in all.   Most  local bodies saw the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) enter a post-poll alliance.

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