By Team Mangalorean
Pics by Violet Pereira
Mangalore: Polling began for the legislative council elections from the graduates' and teachers' constituencies in 34 centres all over the DK district. The polling began at 8 am and will go on until 4 pm.
Deputy commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda heads a high-level team of officials to ensure smooth conduct of the elections. The district has 11,859 enlisted graduate 4.902 teacher voters. The graduate constituency has 12 voting centres in Mangalore taluk, two each in Bantwal, Beltangady, Puttur and Sullia taluks.
For the teachers' constituency, there are nine voting centres in Mangalore taluk, two in Sullia taluk and one each in Bantwal, Beltangady and Puttur - thus 14 in all.
The BJP has traditionally been a stronghold in the past elections. However, the shadow of internal dissensions has been looming large, although it is thought that the electoral fortunes will not be affected. The BJP candidates have done more vigorous campaign this time. CM Sadananda Gowda and MP Ananth Kumar have taken keen interest to campaign this time.
Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes and former union minister Janardhana Poojary too have extensively toured the constituency to campaign for Congress. Former CM H D Kumaraswamy and JD (S) candidate S L Bhojegowda have canvassed votes for their party.
In between, a few independent candidates are likely to disturb the voting equations. The BJP is facing a few independents with identical names.
CM Sadananda Gowda arrived by air on Sunday morning. He proceeded to Puttur to exercise his vote. Soon thereafter he is scheduled to return to Bangalore by road via Shirady.
There are 6 polling booths set in the University College premises at Hampankatta. Speaking to mangalorean.com Philomena D'Silva said, "I forgot to bring my identity card, so they sent me back to get it. I went back and brought my ID card to caste my vote. Every vote is important to a candidate. We need to elect a good candidate who has real concern about the graduates."
Sr Jacintha, speaking to mangalorean.com said, "We have to elect the best candidate, so that the teachers' constituency can get a competent person to represent it."
When asked who would win in the teachers' constituency, she said, "We cannot predict anything about anyone. The best will win," she said.
There are four candidates for teachers constituency and seven contestants for the southwest graduates' constituency.