Crowds swell outside counting centre in Mysuru

Rules regarding social distancing, wearing of masks ignored

Large crowds milled outside the gram panchayat poll counting centres set up by the district administration on Wednesday even though the process of counting the ballot papers was held in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines.

Counting of votes cast in different taluks was taken up in different centres set up in the taluk headquarters, and the votes cast in the gram panchayats of Mysuru taluk were taken up for counting at the Maharani’s Commerce and Management College at Paduvarahalli in Mysuru around 8 a.m.

While the candidates and their agents were allowed inside the counting centre with their face masks after their thermal scanning, a large number of supporters were seen on Valmiki Road outside the counting centre. The crowds gathered on the roads in the vicinity while the police had diverted traffic away from the counting centre.

At most places outside the counting centre, the mandatory social distancing and wearing of masks was not visible.

Police had made elaborate security arrangements in and around the venue.

In the taluks, the counting of votes were taken up at Boys Government Pre-University College, Nanjangud, Vidyodaya Education Society in T. Narsipur, St .Joseph’s Educational Institution in Hunsur, Government First Grade College in K.R. Nagar, Pushpa Convent in Periyapatna and St. Mary’s High School in H.D. Kote. Votes cast in Sargur taluk were taken up for counting in Government First Grade in H.D. Kote.

Elections had been held to a total of 250 gram panchayats in Mysuru district, having a total of 1,670 wards with 4,232 seats in two phases on December 22 and 27. A total of 11,234 candidates in in the fray in the gram panchayat elections in the district though 205 were elected unopposed and 19 seats received no nominations.

A polling official, Bore Gowda, 52, died due to a heart attack he suffered while on duty at the counting centre in Periyapatna. An Assistant Executive Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) posted for duty as a polling officer for N .Shettihalli Gram Panchayat in Periayapatna, heexperienced severe chest pain and was rushed to the hospital. But, he died on the way. Bore Gowda was a native of K.R. Pet taluk in Mandya district, but was residing in Kushal Nagar of Kodagu district.

Meanwhile, a transgender, Devika won the gram panchayat elections from 7th block in Saligrama in K.R. Nagar taluk. She defeated her nearest rival by 5 votes. Officials said candidates belonging to the third gender contest from general wards.

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