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60% polling in Karnataka till 5 p.m
60% polling in Karnataka till 5 p.m

Bengaluru, April 23 (IANS) About 60 per cent votes were cast till 5 p.m in Karnataka's remaining 14 Lok Sabha seats during the third phase of polling amid tight security on Tuesday.

"Average voting percentage touched 60.41 per cent by 5.00 p.m in the 14 constituencies across the state's western and northern regions," an Election Commission (EC) official told IANS here.

Maximum voting of 68.65 per was in Shimoga, followed by 66.73 per cent in Davanagere, 66.27 per cent in Chikkodi and 65.58 per cent in Uttar Kannada.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s B.Y. Raghavendra is the candidate in Shimoga against Madhu Bangarappa of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). Both are sons of state's former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP and late S. Bangarappa of the Congress, respectively.

The least turnout of 51.75 per cent was in Raichur (ST), followed by 52.18 per cent in Gulbarga (SC), 53.85 per cent in Bijapur (SC) and 56.90 per cent in Bidar.

Polling percentage in other seats were 63.78 in Bagalkot, 63.22 in Haveri, 62.02 in Dharwad, Bellary (ST) 62.02, 60.66 in Koppal and 58.72 in Belgaum.

"Voting picked up after 4.00 p.m as it dipped when the weather was very hot between 1.00 p.m and 4.00 p.m as it's peak summer season in the regions where polling is being held," said the official.

The poll panel expects the final voting to cross 70 per cent, as all who will be at the polling station till 6.00 p.m will be allowed to cast their vote even after the poll time ends formally by then," added the official.

Union Minister and BJP's firebrand candidate Anant Kumar Hegde is in the fray for the fourth time from Uttar Kannada.

A Congress leader in the 16th Lok Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge is contesting for a hat-trick from Gulbarga against BJP's Umesh Jadav.

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