Thursday, February 25

Karnataka panchayat polls: Counting of votes begins

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Counting of votes for 5,728 gram panchayats in Karnataka that went for polls in two phases, is taking place on Wednesday. The counting began at 8 am.

As ballot papers were used in polls other than in Bidar district (where electronic voting machines or EVMs were used), the announcement of results may get delayed, polls officials said.

Elections were held for 43,238 seats in the first phase on December 22, while voting took place for 39,378 seats in the second phase on December 27.

While the first phase had seen a voter turnout of about 82 per cent, it was around 80 per cent in the second phase.

A total of 2,22,814 candidates were in the fray. The voting took place in both phases with necessary Covid-19 precautions amid the prevailing pandemic situation.

While gram panchayat polls are held on a party-less basis, all three main contenders – Congress, BJP and the regional Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) – are looking to have their party workers and sympathisers elected to a majority of panchayats.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday claimed that the candidates supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are likely to win majority of the seats.

In the 2015 polls, the then ruling Congress in the state had won a majority of panchayats.