Bangalore: An estimated 65 percent of the 4.62 crore electorate in Karnataka cast their votes on Thursday for 28 Lok Sabha seats in the single-phase polls that saw a fierce fight between Congress and BJP.
"An estimated 65 percent voter turnout was recorded in the polls held in 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state," Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here tonight.
Elections held under the vigil of some 85,000 security personnel, including the central forces, by and large passed off peacefully with no major untoward incident, he said.
Voting ranged from moderate to brisk in the initial hours but gathered pace reaching 47 per cent at 3 PM and 60 per cent by 5 PM.
Polling in the three constituencies of Bangalore - South, Central and North - recorded an estimated voters turnout of 55, 55 and 52 per cent, respectively, Jha said.
The fate of 435 candidates was decided today with BJP expecting an upswing in its fortunes after the bitter defeat in the 2013 assembly polls when it yielded power to Congress.
In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the final voting percentage was 58.81. The then ruling party BJP had won 19 seats, Congress six and JD-S three.
Among the key contestants are Nandan Nilekani, Infosys co-founder, who is locked in a close fight with five-time MP BJP`s Ananth Kumar in Bangalore South. Former Prime Minister and JD-S chief H D Deve Gowda (Hassan) and Union Minister M Veerappa Moily (Chikkaballapur) are other prominent contestants.
Besides Gowda and Moily, four other former Chief Ministers BJP`s B S Yeddyurappa (Shimoga) and D V Sadananda Gowda (Bangalore North), JD-S` H D Kumaraswamy (Chikkaballapur) and Congress` N Dharam Singh (Bidar) are also in the field.
Congress as well as BJP are targetting winning about 20 seats. BJP is expecting that the return of Yeddyurappa would bring significant gains and shift his vote base to it, as he had secured 10 per cent vote share in 2013 assembly polls, playing spoilsport to the party`s hopes of retaining power.