Holiday mood gripped Bangalore on Thursday as citizens voted in the Lok Sabha elections. Commercial establishments and shopping malls either didn't open or wore a deserted look until afternoon. Traffic was thinner on roads and the city centre was devoid of its usual hustle and bustle. With the polling day falling just before the extended weekend (April 18 is Good Friday), many citizens chose to laze around on Thursday. Overall, the City was pleasantly peaceful except for a few untoward incidents on the outskirts. While voters like Varsha, a techie who works in Electronics City, exercised their franchise in the morning to relax and enjoy the rest of the day, scores of others didn't venture out until late afternoon so as to escape the heat. They trickled into polling booths only after weather improved after lunch and the sky became cloudy. Several shopping malls opened late than usual to enable their staff to vote in the morning. Bangalore Central, a shopping mall near Mayo Hall, opened around 12:30 pm. Staff at Garuda Mall were given two hours to vote, according to Sridhar, a manager at Inox Cinemas. Commuting problems Commuting problems continued for the second day as the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) plied fewer buses, anticipating the absence of the office crowd. Commuters had to wait for half an hour for a bus on the Brigade Road-Electronics City route on which plenty of G-3 buses run otherwise. Similarly, passengers had to wait for 15-20 minutes, against the two minutes on a normal day, for a bus between Majestic and Kadugodi. Purvi, who commutes frequently from Koramangala to Brigade Road, had to wait for more than 30 minutes for the G-3 bus. Normally, there are plenty of buses on this route, but it was difficult to find one today. But it was pleasant to see empty roads, she added.
Despite the sun beating down harshly and downpours in some places, the voter spirit prevailed in the State on Thursday.There was brisk polling in the morning hours in the North Karnataka constituencies, including the urban pockets of the Dharwad constituency, as people wanted to avoid the scorching sun. There was more enthusiasm among voters in rural areas. The voting slowed down by 11 am and picked up only after 3 pm. The booths had registered 30 per cent voting by 11 am. The slum areas recorded a good 40 per cent by 12 pm. The voter facilitation centres at the booths proved a hit.In Bagalkot, people made it to the polling stations in large numbers in the evening, despite the heavy rain. In Bidar district, a ceiling fan snapped to the ground at booth number 155 in Humnabad. The cable of the electronic voting machine got cut, leading to voting being halted for almost an hour. It resumed after the glitch was fixed. In Bijapur district, workers from the 170 Lambani tandas who had migrated to places like Kolhapur and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and to Goa returned home on Thursday to exercise their franchise. Rainwater stagnated at the main entrance to the polling station at KEBColony School in Raichur. This forced voters to jump over the water to enter the polling booth.Residents threw stones at the polling booth at Konkal village, following a duel with the security personnel on duty in the afternoon. Konkal comes under the Gurmitkal Assembly segment of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency. Police brought the situation under control. Two persons died while returning home after casting their votes in Surpur taluk. They are Manappa Bagali, 50, of Devapur and Devappa Pujari of Chandalapur. There were allegations of polling officials 'forcing' voters to choose a particular candidate, at a few booths of the Gokak Assembly constituency under the Belgaum Lok sabha seat. Congress and BJP workers clashed at Melmatti in Gokak taluk. But the voting was not affected. Election offi cials allowed tender ballot voting for a voter in Kamalapur of Hospet taluk (Bellary seat), as someone else had already cast his vote. The fishing industry came to a total halt in Karwar as a holiday was declared by fishermen's bodies, allowing the fishermen to visit their places to exercise their franchise.The booth at the Kuvempu Model School at Malur in Thirthahalli taluk of Shimoga district was decked up with mango leaves, plantain leaves and flowers. The canopy so formed welcomed voters and provided them shelter from the sun. The parties had made the arrangements.Voting was peaceful in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies, including in places that are usually prone to communal violence. Naxal-hit places recorded good polling percentage. There were rains in some places. There was peaceful voting in the constituencies of the Old Mysore region. In Kodagu district that comes under Mysore-Kodagu constituency, voters exercised their franchise, despite rain.Inked on wrong fingerDespite clear direction from the Election Commission of India to apply the indelible ink on the left hand thumb of the voters, the poll officials of booth number 48 near Valmiki Circle in the city had applied the ink on the index finger of some of the voters, before correcting their mistake.Among the voters who were marked on the wrong finger were sitting MP from Bellary, J Shantha, and her husband Nagaraj who came to vote at the polling booth at around 9.30 am. When the issue came to the notice of the election officer, the booth officers were asked to apply the ink on the left hand thumb of the voters. When BJP candidate B Sriramulu cast his vote at around 10 am, he was marked correctly on the thumb.During the two-phase training, the polling staff were told to mark the index finger. The poll panel's latest order on the change of finger did not come to our notice, leading to the confusion, a polling booth staff said.Meanwhile, A 67-year-old woman died of a cardiac arrest immediately after returning home from the polling booth. Nanjamma, a resident of Uttaradimutt, died soon after casting her vote at Srikanth School in Mysore. Sundaramma, (60), collapsed and breathed her last at her residence immediately after voting at H Mokkalli in Chamarajanagar taluk. It is said that Sundaramma had visited the polling booth at 8 am to cast her vote.
Citizens in many places across the State boycotted the elections on Thursday, protesting issues related to civic amenities and lack of infrastructure.Addressing reporters here, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Jha said: People boycotted elections at Dabbeghatta village in Turuvekere, protesting a local lift irrigation project. Similarly, polling did not take place at two polling booths in Bidar - at Aurad and Bhalki. Also, one other polling booth at Hanur in Chamarajnagar and four in Karwar did not see any polling.Minor incidentsMinor incidents of violence were reported from some places. In Ramanagar (Bangalore Rural constituency), two groups belonging to different political parties clashed, creating a tense situation atmosphere for some time. The police arrested four persons in this connection and the polling process went on smoothly. A control unit connected to a polling booth in Anekal was damaged following a group clash in Anekal. An inebriated man smashed the electronic voting machine at a polling booth at Nelamangala. The election authorities immediately replaced the EVMs and ensured that polling continued smoothly at both places, the CEO said.He said EVMs were replaced in 93 places and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were replaced in 55 places (in Bangalore South constituency) because of technical glitches after the commencement of polling.
A day after he was forced out of Mysore-Kodagu LokSabha constituency, citing violation of the model code of conduct, Chief MinisterSiddaramaiah on Thursday described it as 'misinterpretation of law by the Election Commission of India'.Speaking to reporters after casting his vote at his nativeSiddaramanahundi village, Varuna hobli in Mysore district, (coming under Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha constituency), Siddaramaiah said that the Election Commission was totally wrong. He chose to dismiss the episode saying, It's not an issue at all. Siddaramaiah said, My permanent residence is in Mysore. Where do I have to stay? Reiterating that Congress would win not less than 20 seats, Siddaramaiah dismissed BJP's claims that they would win more seats. Even pre-poll surveys by some news channels are baseless. They have come out with varied predictions. Have they sought the opinion of all the 16 lakh voters?, Siddaramaiah said, referring to Mysore district.Back-to-back tripsSiddaramaiah, who was forced to leave for Bangalore by road on Wednesday, arrived in a special flight at the Mysore Airport on Thursday afternoon. According to party workers, Siddaramaiah had driven to his TKLayout residence in Mysore onWednesday, before resuming his journey toSiddaramanahundi. He had stayed at the house of his supporter for some time and left for Bangalore, much before the BJP workers took exception to his stay and staged a protest in front of the deputy commissioner's office.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised an economic policy that would provide jobs to the youth now fed up with jobless growth.The economy would be reoriented with job creation at the Centre, he said at an election rally here.Modi said after agriculture, it was the textile sector that can provide large number of jobs and it should be developed with right kind of infrastructural linkages.According to him, the BJP in its manifesto has promised development of value chain for the handloom sector.Reiterating the BJP commitment to interlinking of national rivers, Modi said if voted to power, the NDA government will link Cauvery and Ganga, thus addressing the drinking water problems and irrigation challenges of Tamil Nadu.Modi also took a dig at former Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and without naming her, said a woman Congress leader from the state was responsible for delaying many infrastructural projects in the country including in Tamil Nadu.Without naming Union Minister P Chidambaram, Modi said wrist watches with photos of the finance minister were being distributed to voters and demanded a probe by the Election Commission.
Mysore city, which had peaceful polling till evening, however, witnessed some unrest following a clash between the workers of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Congress at Aziz Sait Nagar in Udayagiri police station limits on Thursday.Three Congress workers suffered severe injuries and are admitted to K R Hospital.As the situation worsened and hooligans indulged in stone-throwing, police resorted to mild caning. City Police Commissioner M A Saleem, who rushed to the spot with a team of police personnel, brought the situation under control. However, it aggravated when Congress MLA Tanveer Sait and former Mayor Ayub Khan visited the place. They left following requests from the police.According to complainant K C Showkath Pasha (Congress), corporator (Ward 55), some SDPI workers were trying to disrupt peace in Ward 54 right from the morning. Around 4.30 pm, some SDPI activists arrived in a red car and surrounded Congress worker Kaleem. Following verbal exchanges, they roughed him up, he alleged.In retaliation, Congress workers damaged an SUV belonging to the SDPI district president.Later, the SDPI activists again attacked the Congress workers who assembled at the Udayagiri police station premises to file a complaint. The injured persons were rushed to K R Hospital.According to sources, tension erupted when the Congress leaders learnt that the polling percentage was escalating in booths in Udayagiri, which would help the SDPI gain more votes. A complaint has been registered at the Udayagiri police station.
Stepping up her attack on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha on Thursday dismissed Gujarat's projected success as a myth.Speaking at an election rally, Jayalalitha said, A myth has been created about Gujarat. Tamil Nadu's growth has been far more impressive than that of Gujarat.Jayalalitha said only 11.3 per cent of people in Tamil Nadu were below poverty line, as opposed to Gujarat's figure of 16.6 per cent.Claiming that Tamil Nadu attracted foreign investments worth Rs 14,686 crore in 2012-13, while Gujarat received just Rs 2,640 crore, the chief minister said the state is number four in the country in terms of software exports, whereas Gujarat is in the 11th position.Citing several growth indices, including human resources development, literacy and electricity consumers, the ruling party chief claimed Tamil Nadu was far ahead of Gujarat. The figures, which I have released would surprise many in India. This is the real situation, Jayalalitha said.Jayalalitha's comments come a day after Modi called the BJP's recent formation of a six-party alliance, which includes the DMDK and MDMK, an emerging viable alternative in the state. The BJP prime ministerial candidate said that the DMK and AIADMK ruled the state every five years in a shift system, only to harass each other.
Four people were struck dead by lightning in Gadag and one person each died after being struck by lightning in Belgaum and Hassan districts as heavy rains were reported in several parts of the State on Wednesday night and Thursday. Three shepherds and a woman were struck dead by lightning in Gadag district on Thursday.Mallappa Siddappa Soratur, 20, Mallappa Kariyappa Nellannavar, 16, and Mahantesh Suresh Somannavar, 18, died when lightning struck them when they were standing under a tree in a field on the Mulgund-Kanavi road. A total of 18 sheep that the trio were grazing also died.The incident occurred when it started raining in the afternoon. Honnamma Ramappa Jaggala, 42, died when she was struck by lightning at Somashekarnagar in Gadag.Heavy rains were reported from Bellary, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Belgaum, Haveri, Gadag and Dharwad districts on Thursday. Polling was affected for some time at Yaragatti in Savadatti taluk of the Belgaum Lok Sabha constituency, due to heavy rain accompanied by gusty winds. The situation was similar in several places of Bagalkot district.Shankar Dundappa Sonnad died when lightning struck him at Palabavi in Raibag taluk of Belgaum district, while he was returning from his field on Thursday evening. Jeeva, a 17-year-old college student from Koneralu village near Belur in Hassan district, was struck dead by lightning on Thursday evening. The incident occurred when Jeeva and other boys were playing at a ground. Heavy rains brought respite from the sweltering heat in Belur and Halebid.
Iconic Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy, who is known for his anti-BJP stand, took some by surprise when he came to cast his vote at a polling station in the posh Sadashivanagar area. For, the Jnanpith awardee, who has supported Congress candidates, was clad in a bright saffron kurta. The ailing writer was accompanied by his wife Esther. Incidentally , there were some BJP workers outside the polling station dressed in saffron 'T' shirts.Dogs not allowedSome people who rushed to polling booths early in the morning before or soon after their morning walk had brought their pet dogs to the booth. They found themselves fixed when the cops on duty strictly told them, Dogs are not allowed.At Sunkadakatte, police and civil defence persons manning the booth took care of the canines, while their owners went inside to exercise their franchise. At Vijayanagar, a dog owner found a help in another voter, who was coming out after casting his vote.
A 44-year-old man was arrested by the Nelamangala police for allegedly damaging an electronic voting machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Mandigere Government School, under Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.According to the police, the accused, Uday Kumar, a resident of Nelamangala, was in an inebriated state when he went into the polling booth to vote. He created a ruckus and smashed the EVM by throwing it on the floor. Even though the machine was destroyed, the unit which keeps vote count was not damaged as it was not kept near the ballot, said the police. The police added that polling was resumed as soon as the damaged EVM was replaced with a new machine. Uday Kumar has been booked under the provisions of the Representation of People's Act and Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the midst of a number of voters at a polling booth in Karianapalya, Lingarajapuram, two persons in distinct yellow half jackets stood out from the crowd. They were local residents, Surekha Singh, 18, and her grandfather Sarju Singh, 72, who were busy helping and guiding voters from the area.We began the day by serving our homemade coffee at 6am to election workers and have been keeping a close watch here so that things go smoothly, said Sarju, a former employee of DRDO.The duo was a part of 1,200 strong Civil Defence volunteers who stood shoulder to shoulder with the police to ensure a trouble-free and fair polling on the day. In fact, people in the yellow jackets were an ubiquitous sight at almost all the polling stations in the City.Starting the day at 6am, the Civil Defence volunteers were deployed in all the corners of the City. In fact, in a number of places where there was either less or no police personnel, people are reassured by the presence of these volunteers.These volunteers are more helpful and much friendlier than others at the booths. Not only is their presence good, but very reassuring, said Arun Dawson, 38, a voter from Linjarajpuram.At a number of polling stations, the Civil Defence volunteers seized canvassing materials. Elsewhere, they were seen helping the elderly cast their votes with ease, or clearing the traffic.One of the most active and dedicated volunteers in the corps, Pavithra Raghu, 18, along with another volunteer, made frequent rounds of areas such as Shivajinagar, Frazer Town, DJ Halli and Commercial Street. A student of Mount Carmel College, she is a parade commander in the corps. I want to either join the police force or the Army. And my time as a Civil Defence volunteer, besides being in line with this goal, is also a way to serve my community, she said.By 2 pm, M S Ragesh, a senior engineer withSAPLabs, had already inspected as many as 18 police station limits in North Bangalore. He was the Civil Defence co-ordinator in Bangalore North. Ibelonged to a very poor family and have come up with the help of the community.Various scholarships and help from non-governmental organisation have helped me reach this position. Now, I want togive it back, he said.The effort of the Civil Defence Corps on the day was well appreciated by senior police personnel.
Voters mainly from Bangalore Central and Bangalore South constituencies faced problems at polling booths and some returned home disappointed without getting inked on their thumb as their names were found missing on the voters' list.Confusion over polling booths also led to a lot of frustration among both the voters and the polling officials in several instances.Some people expressed their ire over officials at the booths insisting on Aadhaar cards. Suresh H G, employee of a private company and a resident of Byatarayanapura, said that at his booth several people were put in a spot when the poll officials insisted on Aadhaar card. Standing under the scorching sun, 37-year-old Jay David searched for the names of his uncle R Benedict and grandmother Lourd Mary in the voter list at a polling booth in Tasker Town. However, his efforts turned futile as the polling staff there maintained that his family members cannot exercise their franchise as their names are not listed.Similarly, Seema B from Shivajinagar was disappointed as her name did not figure in the voter's list. She said that a family of five members in her neighbourhood also faced the same problem. At polling booths located at Bangalore South constituency, the situation was no different. Registered voters at Tilak Nagar, BTM Layout, Koramangala, Gowdanpalya, Yarab Nagar and other neighbouring areas faced hassles. Vijay Chandy, a resident of Koramangala VI Block, maintained that he, along with his wife Usha Chandy, registered themselves at the nearby Palike office on March 14 and even received acknowledgement. However, on Thursday, they were told that their names were not there on the list. In Bangalore North, Nagamma, 81-year-old resident of Malleswaram, who had a voter ID card, was not allowed to exercise her vote. Pointing towards her ID card, she said: I got this ID card in 1994 and cast my vote during the last Vidhan Sabha elections. But this time, I was not allowed, she added. At TC Palya in Bangalore North, voters cribbed about difficulty in locating the polling booths, photo mismatches and names missing from the voter's list.Meanwhile, a BBMP official said that people who have registered and received voter ID cards before 2008 are most probably the ones whose names have gone missing.This is because during 2007, new areas were added under BBMP, new constituencies were formed and a few wards got shifted to other constituencies. The Election Commission (EC) has restored a few voter ID cards who have applied for fresh applications. But not all have applied for fresh applications hence the problems exist.
The seventh Indian Premier League kicked off with Kolkata Knight Riders scoring an emphatic 41-run over Mumbai Indians, Jacques Kallis setting the tone with a 46-ball 72 before Sunil Narine completed the task with four wickets.Opting to bat, KKR rode on Kallis and Manish Pandey's 64 to post a competitive 163 for five, before restricting Mumbai Indians to 122 for seven at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, with Narine returning match-winning figures of 4/20.KKR's innings was built on a 131-run second-wicket partnership between Kallis and Pandey.Pace spearhead Lasith Malinga was the pick of Mumbai bowlers, finishing with figures of 4/23. But the Lankan slinger's effort was not enough, and neither was Ambati Rayudu's 40-ball 48.After Kallis and Pandey's exploits with the bat, Morne Morkel and Narine showed KKR the way with the ball. While Morkel had an economical figures of 1/16, with just two runs coming off his first two overs, Narine picked up four for 20.Mumbai were off to a subdued start with Morkel not allowing an inch to free their arms. The tall South African pacer was bowling such an impeccable line and length that even the experienced Michael Hussey had no answer.The first breakthrough, though, was effected by Narine, who sneaked one through the bat and pad of Hussey. It was a strong comeback by Narine after the Trinidadian's second ball was deposited into the crowd by Aditya Tare (24).Spin was introduced from both ends early into Mumbai innings. Jacques Kallis was handed the ball after Mumbai managed only 32 in the Power Play.Hussey's departure brought Rayudu to the middle and giving him company was Tare, who was on the lookout for quick runs.However, with pressure building up, Tare succumbed when he gave a high return catch to Shakib Al Hasan who held on to it after a fumble.There was a partnership of 61 runs for the third wicket between Rohit Sharma and Rayudu. But the two fell in quick succession and after that the task was beyond for even the ever-dangerous Kieron Pollard.Earlier, Pandey struck 64 off 53 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes. KKR pummelled 73 runs in the last six overs, with 14 coming in the final one, courtesy Suryakumar Yadav.Kallis, who got a reprieve on 34, found the fence five times and cleared it thrice.The start was far from ideal for Knight Riders as they lost skipper Gautam Gambhir for nought in the second over to Malinga. The experienced left-hander had no answer to the Sri Lankan slinger's yorker that uprooted the stumps.Score boardKOLKATAKNIGHTRIDERS: Gautam Gambhir b Malinga 0, Jacques Kallis c Anderson b Malinga 72, Manish Pandey b Malinga 64, Robin Uthappa c Rohit b Zaheer 1, Yusuf Pathan (not out) 4, Shakib Al Hasan c Rohit b Malinga 1, Suryakumar Yadav (not out) 13. Extras (LB-4, W-4) 8. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 163. Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-135, 3-144, 4-145, 5-149.Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-23-1, Lasith Malinga 4-0-23-4, Corey Anderson 3-0-33-0, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-36-0, Harbhajan Singh 3-0-25-0, Keiron Pollard 2-0-19-0.MUMBAIINDIANS: Michael Hussey b Narine 3, Aditya Tare c & b Shakib 24, Ambati Rayudu st Uthappa b Narine 48, Rohit Sharma c Kallis b Morkel 27, Kieron Pollard (not out) 6, Corey Anderson b Narine 2, Harbhajan Singh b Narine 0, CM Gautam st Uthappa b Chawla 7. Extras (B-4, W-1) 5. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 122. Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-40, 3-101, 4-106, 5-113, 6-113, 7-122. Bowling: Vinay Kumar 2-0-15-0, Morne Morkel 4-0-16-1, Sunil Narine 4-0-20-4, Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-29-1, Jacques Kalls 3-0-23-0, Piyush Chawla 2.5-0-15-0.
A majority of voters in the City, to whom the Deccan Herald team spoke to, did not opt for NOTA (None of the Above) while casting their ballot.Though most urban voters were aware, they did not opt for it, given that they were exercising their franchise for the first time.Prerana M, a first-time voter, said I was looking forward to voting for the first time so even though I knew about NOTA, I did not want to use it this time.Likewise, Padma M, an IT professional from CV Raman Nagar, cast her vote at Lingarajapram. I originally belong to this locality and therefore came to vote here though I am staying in CV Raman Nagar. If I was in a situation where I did not know anything about the candidates fielded, I would have exercised the option, she said.Amudha, who works as a security guard, exercised the NOTA option for exactly the same reason Padma M did not. I exercised NOTA as I did not know much about the candidates who were contesting. So I thought, instead of giving my vote to the wrong person, I should press the last button . She exercised her franchise at Bangalore Central shopping mall. While a number of people did not exercise this option, they however, felt that it was a radical and progressive step. Aamir Sharif, a businessman who cast his vote in Shivajinagar, called it a good step that gives one the choice and opportunity to make a statement. Others like Sabita, a teacher, even called NOTA option the right of every citizen.
Distracted to an extent by off-field furores surrounding them, two-time former champions Chennai Super Kings would look to bring the focus back on their cricketing prowess when they take on a revamped Kings XI Punjab in their IPL opener here Friday.The Chennai outfit, the most dominant team in the past three seasons, is still reeling under the spot-fixing scandal, in which some of its officials have been implicated besides a few players being under the scanner.Coach Stephen Fleming has been candid enough to admit that off-field issues cannot be just brushed aside and are like a distraction for the team, which under normal circumstances comes across as a well-oiled machine on a mission.There's a lot going on, I won't lie. There are a lot of distractions (leading up to the tournament). I think we were all uncertain about how it was going to play out, Fleming said in a subtle reference to the betting controversy which is now under a Supreme Court-monitored investigation.But for the spot-fixing controversy which has rattled it, CSK led by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can safely be called one of the most consistent teams in the IPL.This year, CSK would be without some of their most reliable stars, including Australian mainstay Michael Hussey and South African Albie Morkel, after losing them in the players' auction. But with replacements like New Zealand swashbuckler Brendan McCullum, CSK look formidable nonetheless.On the bowling front, West Indian leg-spinner Samuel Badree could prove to be an important player given that his confidence is sky-high after finishing as the third highest wicket-taker in the recent World T20.Up against them are the Kings from Punjab. The franchise, which until the last season seemed lost in the celebrity event, have managed to instill balance and sheen to the side by making some smart purchases in the players' auction. Led by Australian George Bailey, Punjab pulled off quite a masterstroke by snapping up India Test discard Virender Sehwag. Even though he is no longer in his prime but on his day, the Delhi-dasher is an enthralling game-changer capable of mortifying opposition attacks.No doubt, he will have a big impact. Having him around the group is a great thing. It will be great for him to go out and play with freedom, Bailey had stated ahead of the tournament.Another masterstroke by KXIP at the auction was the purchase of Mitchell Johnson. The Australian speedster is in the form of his life and is likely to be worth every one of the Rs 6.5 crore that the KXIP splurged on him during the auction.Besides, the team also managed to bring back Australian batsman Shaun Marsh. Fitness-permitting, Marsh has a decent track record in the IPL and could prove to a crucial cog in the KXIP wheel.Given the way the two teams match up on paper, it promises to be a battle of the equals.
The Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was seen as a glitch by many in the Bangalore South constituency as it caused confusion among voters and delayed the voting process.As the machine beeped for seven seconds after the vote was cast, people did not leave the polling booth until they heard the sound, delaying the voting process in many parts of the Bangalore South constituency. Also, there was confusion among voters about the VVPAT.For instance, a voter at polling booth 213 in Basavanagudi's ITILayout was seen asking the polling officer for the slip and the official had to explain the process. Bangalore South was among the chosen seven constituencies across the country, where the VVPAT was introduced on an experimental basis. Under the system, the VVPAT machine will generate a paper slip, displaying to voters, for seven seconds the name and symbol of the candidate they had chosen, after which the slip will automatically drop into a sealed box.
One of the worst hit teams in last year's spot-fixing scandal, Rajasthan Royals will be keen to clear their off-field image with good on-field performances when they begin their IPL campaign by taking on a formidable Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Friday.The Royals were left feeling betrayed when errant Indian pacer S Sreesanth and two other team-mates -- Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- were arrested for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches last season. But they hardly let that hamper their performance on the field.Ironically, RR ended up being the third best team in the last year's cash-rich event. Led by veteran Rahul Dravid, they dominated the sixth edition, despite lack of big names in their ranks.New captain Shane Watson said the spot-fixing controversy last year was the case of a couple of bad apples in the side, and assured that the team had got over the distraction and was concentrating on giving its best.Under the able guidance of Dravid, who will be seen in mentor's role this time around, coach Paddy Upton and skipper Watson, the Royals will be looking at springing up surprises once again.This year, RR have managed to put together a well balanced side. While they picked up players like Steven Smith, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand and Rajat Bhatia, they managed to retain match-winners such as Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, James Faulkner and Brad Hodge.Watson has always been a key player for the Royals and the team is expected to excel under his leadership.RR has always given chance to young players despite their lack of experience. While 19-year-old Samson has mesmerised one and all, 42-year-old Pravin Tamble ended up being the match-winner on more than one occasion last season.The Royals will be keen to strike the right balance this time as well.The Sunrisers Hyderabad, who went down to the same opponents -- Rajasthan Royals -- in the Eliminator last season, will be looking to avenge their defeat.
Braving odds, senior citizens and physically challenged voters had turned up to vote in hundreds across the City. However, they found difficulties in many places, especially at polling booths located on the first floor, without elevators. Even booths on the ground floor posed a big challenge, for the steps were steep and there were no ramps. At the Saraladevi Educational institute, it was an extremely tedious task for 75-year-old Mahalakshmi who was trying to get to the polling station. The booth which has a steep entrance created a difficult situation for the elderly women. At National College, Basavanagudi, makeshift ramps were prepared by laying plywood planks for elderly persons to be wheeled into and out of the booths. Across the City, the ramps were also located at the far end of the entrances and had no grip for people to walk upon.The scene was no different at the Oxford School polling station near HAL. Senior citizens struggled to climb stairs, with none to help. There were no railings to hold on to, either.
Devastating South Africa batsman David Miller believes Kings XI Punjab have built a strong squad capable of winning their maiden Indian Premier League title this year.The Punjab outfit, who have only once qualified for the knockout stage in the six editions of the event, made smart buys in the auction of IPL 7 after retaining only Miller and 20-year-old uncapped Indian player Manan Vohra.It is exciting to have a different group of players. Overall, the squad looks more than capable to win the title. We have been training hard from the past four-five days and are getting to know each other, Miller told PTI from Abu Dhabi on the eve of King XI's opening match against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.Miller, who made waves after smashing 101 off 38 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, will play a key role in deciding the fortunes of Kings XI, who also have the likes of Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell and captain George Bailey.Miller feels the depth in batting and fast bowling is enough to bail the team out in tough situations.Look, it is really cool to have so many good players around. I have been discussing a lot of cricket with Sehwag and Bailey too comes across as a man of wisdom. Now the challenge is to gel well together in a short time. It was only last night that all of us went out for desert safari, said the 24-year-old from Pietermartizburg.
On a high after playing a crucial role in Kolkata Knight Riders' stunning IPL win over defending champions Mumbai Indians, Manish Pandey said reuniting with Jacques Kallis, the veteran with whom he previously played in the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, helped him rediscover some lost form.Pandey's 64 and Kallis' 72 were the cornerstones of KKR's 163-run total, which helped them clinch a 41-run win over the fancied Mumbai. The duo's 131-run stand was the highlight of the IPL's opening match.When I went out there to bat, I remembered the old times when I batted with him and I realised nothing had changed. It was exactly the same batting with Jacques again and I could feel that same comfort level. We had a lot of partnerships together with RCB and we know each other's games well. We kept talking throughout our time together in the middle, Pandey said.The best thing about the partnership was the communication. Right from the very beginning, we decided that we need to stick it out here and build a good partnership because it wasn't easy to bat on the wicket initially. So, the plan was cut out very clearly and we executed it to a tee, he told IPL's official website.Reflecting on his IPL career so far, Pandey conceded that he lost his way after becoming the first Indian to score a hundred in the tournament in 2009.I think I was a bit off the radar. I wasn't consistent. I was doing well at the domestic level, in first-class cricket, but I couldn't bring that in the IPL. Although I played a couple of decent knocks for the Pune franchise, I knew that as a top-order batsman, I had to start converting the starts into big scores consistently. I am glad I have started this tournament with a good knock and I hope to be consistent now, Pandey said.
Mumbai Indians' pacer Lasith Malinga felt responsible for his team's IPL loss to Kolkata Knight Riders, saying that a dropped catch by him cost the defending champions dearly.Mumbai lost by 41 runs in the IPL opener on Wednesday night after Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis' 50s helped KKR post a fine total of 163 on the board.We bowled really well in the first 10 overs, but let them off the hook after that. We let Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey build a very large partnership and then they had a couple of really big overs. What really cost us the game was the catch I dropped of Kallis when he was on 34, Malinga candidly admitted in an interview to the IPL's official website.Malinga's four for 23 was a stand-out effort and the Sri Lankan said he is in a good mental space as far as his bowling is concerned.I bowled well and it was good to be among wickets straight away. We lost as a team, which is disappointing, but this was just the first game and the team is confident we will gain momentum as we go forward into the tournament. We will treat this match as a learning experience and improve upon the various aspects going forward, he said.Asked if he was carrying the confidence of leading Sri Lanka to the recent World T20 triumph, Malinga said: Yes, it was wonderful to be part of the winning Sri Lankan team. The T20 format is very tough on the bowlers, but I am really feeling good about my bowling at the moment. I am in a good mental space and am bowling well.Talking about the match, Malinga said it was satisfying to get the wicket of KKR captain Gautam Gambhir.It is very crucial to get a breakthrough in the first six overs. I did that today, but unfortunately it wasn't enough, he said.On whether Mumbai gave away 30 runs too many, Malinga simply said: Yes, we did.
Call it the Nilekani or Bala effect. Or for that matter, the Aam Aadmi Party's impassioned call for routing the corrupt and ringing in a change for better governance.Every which way, one of City's much envied class - the software professionals - believed to cock a snook at such democractic demands on their luxurious time, could not be impervious to the tide of things sweeping the nation. That two of their own, much-revered ilk, former Infoscians V Balakrishnan and Nandan Nilekani were testing the political storm waters, seemed reason enough for the fraternity, not necessarily from Infosys alone, but those people in the surrounding IT acropolis, to stir out of their homes in large numbers to exercise their franchise.Despite virtually an inviting line-up of holidays to escape from the hustle and bustle of the City to destress from the rigours of their demanding work schedules, the software professionals were there, queued up with eligible voters from the family, to ink their thumbs and have their say in the fortunes of the next government at the Centre.From Koramangala, BTM Layout, HSR Layout, Sarjapur Road and Bellandur, the plush residential areas which are home to some of the major IT firms as also apartments that house their staff, saw many up and early at the booths to do their bit to possibly usher in a new era at the Centre. According to Nagendra Singh Tomar, IT professional residing in one of the apartments on Outer Ring Road, many software professionals made it a point to dutifully locate their polling booths to cast their votes. There was a polling booth for every 100 meters on Outer Ring Road around Bellandur area. So we could actually see many IT people, not local crowd walking towards the polling booths. It could be the Aam Aadmi Party effect, which has many techie supporters that made an impact on the voting turnout too, he added.Reason for large turnoutVinutha Jagadeesh, an Infocian, attributed the increase in turnout to IT professionals being in fray.Giving truism to her observation, Spring Fields Apartment, on Sarjapur Road, with more than 550 apartments and 80 per cent software professionals living in the apartment complex, turned up en masse to vote. Further, thanks to the initiative of Archana Anand, a resident, who enrolled apartment dwellers, air-conditioned buses were arranged to polling station by apartment associations which, too resulted in increase in the poll percentage. Of the 800 odd enrolled, more than 500 voters boarded the bus which ferried them three km to the polling booth.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir was on Thursday confidence personified and said his team will end up winning most times if it puts up a big score, which can complement the bowling attack it possesses.The seventh Indian Premier League kicked off with an emphatic 41-run win for Kolkata Knight Riders over Mumbai Indians, as Jacques Kallis set the tone with a 46-ball 72 before Sunil Narine completed the task with four wickets.We've got a very good bowling attack and if we put runs on the board most of the times we'll end up winning, a confident Gambhir said at the post-match presentation ceremony.A quality batter like Kallis knows when to accelerate and if either me or him stays till the 15th over we'll get a good score. We have Morne's (Morkel) pace and Narine and (Piyush) Chawla in the spin department and Vinay's (Kumar) is pretty good at the death as well, he added.Man of the match Kallis, who has retired from Test cricket, said it was nice to come back after a break.Had a good few months off. It's nice to catch up with friends and family, but I worked hard on my cricket to help Kolkata this season.There was more bounce this season which suited. Kept the good balls out at the start and cashed it in the death, Kallis said.The South African veteran was full of praise for Morkel and Narine.Morne started great with the ball and Narine was brilliant as well. I probably haven't got too many years left and I'm just looking forward to having some fun in the middle.
Voting largely peaceful; urban voters come out in large numbers; polling picks up in the evening Peaceful polling was recorded in almost all the Lok Sabha constituencies in the Mysore region. Barring the violence at Udayagiri in the city, where the clash between the workers of Social Democratic Party of India(SDPI)and Congress left three injured, elections to the parliament from Mysore-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency was otherwise peaceful. When the polling ended on Thursday at 6 pm, a record turn out of 65.20 per cent was registered, compared to the 58.89 per cent recorded in the previous elections held in 2009.Among the eight Assembly constituencies forming the parliamentary segment, the highest of 77.54 per cent polling was witnessed at Periyapatna, followed by Hunsur- 75.82 pc, Chamundeshwari- 67.26 pc, Krishnaraja- 57.31 pc, Chamaraja- 57.70 pc, Narasimharaja-55.93 pc, Madikeri- 68.80 and Virajpet- 65 pc. When compared to the previous years, there is a considerable increase in the percentage of voting both in urban and rural centres. The constituency comprises 17.21 lakh voters, including 8.66 lakh men and 8.54 lakh women voters.A total of 15 candidates are in the fray, with sitting MP AHVishwanath seeking re-election on Congress ticket, followed by columnist Prathap Simha from BJP and former upa lokayukta Chandrashekaraiah from Janata Dal (Secular) prominent among them. The counting of votes will be held on May 16.Earlier in the day, when the poll process commenced at 7 am, brisk polling was witnessed in urban centres compared to lack lustre rural polling booths. It gained momentum later, with couples and the first time voters and enthusiastic teenagers making it to the booths.The city constitutes three constituencies- Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Narasimharaja, and parts of Chamundeshwari. Though the polling commenced as per the schedule, it was only after two-and-a-half hours at 9.30 am, did the booths see good numbers of voters. Young and old people accompanied by their relatives were seen walking towards polling booths. The various party workers too were seen wooing voters as a last minute effort. Most of the voters in residential areas like V V Mohalla, Kuvempunagar, Siddarthnagar and Vijayanagar, were first timers. The polling was brisk till 2 pm and slowed down, only to get paced up at 4 pm. Many made sure that they exercised their rights before noon, in order to get rid off the scorching heat. Most of the commercial establishments across the city including supermarkets and food joints were shut till evening.Similar scenes were witnessed at rural polling booths. Polling activities were slow during noon, and picked up pace by evening. Despite concerns about 'medium' battery in EVMs by polling officials at several polling stations, polling activities continued without any hindrance till the evening. Some polling booths in Hunsur, H D Kote and Mysore taluks had recorded over 65 per cent voter turn out by 4 pm. People were also seen being ferried to polling booths from places, which were at a considerable distance from the nearest polling station.Polling booths in Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar witnessed its share of problems with technical snags of EVMs, names of voters missing from the list, and citizens threatening to boycott the polls.
Joy knew no bounds for some of the villagers at Siddaramanahundi the native of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Thursday, when the latter came to cast his vote. Siddaramaiah was setting his foot again after a gap of 11 months, as he had not visited his native ever since he took the oath as chief minister of the State on May last.Siddaramaiah was accorded a rousing welcome when he arrived at the Siddarameshwara Temple, near the village entrance. Supporters erupted in joy bursting fire crackers near the temple, while on the other side, the busy electorate was hurrying towards the polling booth, located a few yards away, to make their choice. The village entrance was also decorated with mango leaves.Siddaramaiah who offered customary puja, later walked towards booth number 82 to exercise his franchise. He had lunch at his staunch supporter and former ZP member Kempeeraiah's house, before returning to Mysore. Siddaramaiah later went toBangalore by the same flight.Siddu's wife did not voteWhileChief Minister Siddaramaiah cast his vote, his wife Parvathi who is a voter of the sameVaruna Assembly constituency, coming under Chamarajanagar LSsegment, did not exercise her franchise. According to the voter's list, Parvathi is a voter (Part 82, serial number 276, aged 58) at Siddaramanahundi, which is followed by her older sonRakesh (Part 82, serial number 284). Rakesh took part in the electoral exercise at the same booth preceding his father, while Parvathi was not to be seen.