North Karnataka corporations see 50 per cent turnout, fate of 1,045 candidates sealed | Hubballi News

BELAGAVI/HUBBALI/KALABURAGI: The high pitched polls to the three civic bodies of Belagavi, Hubbali-Dharwad and Kalaburagi corporations on Friday saw a turnout of barely 50 per cent amid the Covid-19 pandemic scare. In effect, about 8.7 lakh voters out of 17.4 lakh people cast their ballot today with 1,045 candidates fate sealed.
The civic polls are the first direct elections which the ruling BJP is facing under the new chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who will be banking on a good outing for the saffron party to send a message to his detractors over his leadership.
For the Congress, any win in the three corporations would be a good show of strength in north Karnataka and set the stage for them to push forth in the impending ZP/TP elections to encourage their cadre.
In Belagavi, as many as 385 candidates are in the fray and the voter turnout suggested that there may not be a clear victory for either of the three main parties in the fray– BJP, Congress and the Maharashtra Ekikarna Samiti (MES).
The total poll percentage till 5 pm was at 50 per cent, with the 2013 elections showing 56 per cent polling.
The BJP workers in some booths at ward 45 were allegedly seen distributing voter slips bearing party symbols and picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Congress leader and Belagavi rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar took away some slips and later brought the issue to the notice of election commission.
Both Congress and BJP leaders expressed confidence in winning the maximum number of seats, Karnataka pradesh Congress committee (KPCC) working president Satish Jarkiholi citing that the people are fed up with the BJP government’ price rise while BJP Belagavi South MLA Abhay Patil suggesting that the youth being influenced with the developmental activities taken out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hence people will elect the party to power.
Barring a few minor incidents, polling at Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation was peaceful on Friday with the fate of 402 candidates now sealed. The polling which began on a dull note ended with great zeal in the evening.
Hubballi-Dharwad has recorded 50.39% voter turnout till 5pm as opposed to 66 percent in 2013 when the last elections were conducted.
Minor clashes were reported between candidates in ward number 3 and 6 where BJP aspirants clash with an independent and Congress candidate respectively.
Senior BJP leaders including former CM Jagadish Shettar, union minister Pralhad Joshi and others also cast their ballot in the city.
In Kalaburagi too, the election to all 55 wards in Kalaburagi City Corporation went off peacefully in Kalaburagi. As of 6 pm, Kalaburagi reported 58 percent polling, the highest among the three civic bodies which went to election on Friday.

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