Unlike previous elections, polling to Karnataka Assembly clocked good turnout
Swamis, stars, royalty and commoners brushed shoulders as Karnataka recorded good turnout by 12 noon today.
Voting was brisk in many areas across the state. Setting an example to youngsters, 111 year old Sri Shivakumara Swami, head of the Siddaganga Mutt, was one of the early voters in Tumakuru district. The swami, widely respected by all political parties, exercised his franchise with ease.
Mathe Mahadevi too turned out in a wheelchair. In Mysuru, the queen Pramoda Devi was also an early voter.
Stars of sandalwood and former cricketers too cast their vote sans fanfare. Voting to the 222 Karnataka Assembly seats began on a brisk and enthusiastic note.
Communally sensitive Dakshin Kannada district top the voting percentage till 12 noon at 26%. Voting was also brisk in Havari (26%). Yadgir district too was on top at 27%. But the highest voting percentage of 42% was at Govindrajnagar in Bengaluru. In Bidar and Dharwad it was 17% each.
A star attraction was the pink booth in Shikaripura in Shivamoga district from where BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa is seeking his fortunes. The entire booth was decorated in pink and the polling staff members too were dressed in pink. This was to encourage women voters. A separate area decorated with pink balloons and banners was earmarked for selfies.
In Hassan, former prime minister HD Deva Gowda was one of the early voters. Many other leaders also exercised their franchise.
In Madikeri, a newly wed bride cast her vote soon after marriage. She went to the voting booth in her traditional Kodava wedding dress.
In another part of Madikeri, the Municipal Corporation invited those who cast their votes to sit on a colourful throne and were given a shawl and a crown for a photo-op. Youngsters found this novel and shared their pictures on social media.
Unlike in previous elections, voters in Bengaluru showed enthusiasm to exercise their votes in the crucial elections. Among the early birds at the polling booths were Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.