Over 1.7 lakh voters will decide the fate of 125 candidates who are in the fray in the Legislative Council elections from local bodies on Sunday. Elections are being held to elect 25 members to the Council from the local bodies. Important candidates include IT/BT Minister and ruling party leader in the Council, Mr S.R. Patil, sons of two prominent Congress leaders - former chief minister N. Dharam Singh and Mr Rajanna, and two brothers of BJP leaders - former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and MLA Appachu Ranjan.
Of the total 1,07,123 voters, 51,890 are male and 55,232 are female voters, while one is a transgender.
As many as 6,314 polling booths have been set up and 20,000 police and 10,000 home guards have been drawn for security. Polling time will be from 8 am to 4 pm. Chief Electoral Officer Anilkumar Jha told Deccan Chronicle that elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure smooth voting. A micro-observer will be stationed at each polling station. Security will be tight at places that are identified 'sensitive'. The Election Commission has so far received a couple of complaints from political parties alleging distribution of gifts to woo voters.
The complaints have come from Belgaum, Raichur, Bangalore and Mysore. Police cases have been registered against some candidates for poll code violations. On some illiterate voters requesting for help from others to exercise their franchise, Mr Jha said that a few returning officers have brought it to the notice of the commission. But these members will be provided help only after they produce letters from their village secretaries that they were 'genuine' illiterates.
The ballot papers carry the photographs of candidates to make their identification easy for voters. The counting of votes will be on December 30, he said.