Good Turn Out of Voters in the Belle Grama Panchayat Elections

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Report by Dr. Eugene D’Souza
Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 09 May 2010: In spite of the unbearable heat of the month of May and many programmes and social functions, the voters of Belle Grama Panchayat turned out in good number to elect 20 representatives in the Grama Panchayat elections that was held on Saturday, 8th may 2010 between 7 am and 5 pm. Though the voters just started trickling in when the booths were thrown open for the voters to cast their votes at 7 am in the morning, gradually the number of voters went on increasing and in some booths voters were seen waiting patiently for their turn to cast their votes. According to a report, at the end of the polling in the evening at 5pm out of a total of 4743 registered voters as many as 3480 had exercised their franchise making it nearly 73 per cent of the total voters which can be considered as a good response.

 The voters in the Belle Grama Panchayat jurisdiction were required to choose 20 representatives from six wards. Out of the 20 seats, 10 seats are meant for the general category of which four are reserved for women and 6 for men; out of 6 seats for BC-A of which 2 are reserved for the women and 4 for men; 1 seat for BC-B is  reserved for a woman; out of 2 seats for SC, 1 is reserved for a woman and 1 for a man; and 1 ST seat is also reserved for  a woman. Thus, out of 20 seats, 9 are reserved for women and 11 for men.

There were altogether 6 booths for 6 wards for the election.  Two booths were located in the Church Aided Higher Primary School, Moodubelle, two booths in Padubelle-Government Higher Primary School and Shri Naryayan Guru High School, Shantipura, Padubelle , one booth each in Kattingeri School and Edmeru School.

According to Devdas Hebbar who is contesting the election from the Kattingeri ward, the Belle Grama Panchayat elections have been chiefly contested on the developmental issues such as roads, water supply and sanitation. The method of canvassing was door to door and person to person meeting by the candidates seeking the vote of the people. No banners of parties or candidates were hanged neither the posters were pasted. Even loudspeakers were not used for canvassing. The campaign was conducted in friendly manner without any ill-will or anti-party or anti-candidate propaganda.

This Belle Grama Panchayat election has seen a number of new candidates in fray trying their luck for the first time in the battle of ballots. In Belle Ward Number-I three representatives are to be elected and 9 candidates are in fray. Among these, 6 candidates are the first time contestants- Sandeep, Ashoka, Kokila, Baby, Lalitha Poojarthy and Shekhara. In Belle Ward Number-II, four representatives are to be elected for which 12 candidates are in the field out of whom 6 are  first time candidates-Lydia Fernandes (wife of Gerald Fernandes),  Jaya Sherigar, Pushpa K.V., Raghushchandra Bhat, Vanitha D’Souza and Shiva K. Suvarna. In Belle Ward Number-III (Padubelle) four representatives are to be elected out of 9 candidates of whom 3 are first timers-Kusuma R. Prabhu, K. Shanthi Belle, and Helen Mendonca. In Belle Ward Number-IV (Padubelle) three representatives are to be chosen out of 7 candidates among whom  4 are first timers-Sunitha Shetty, Vinootha Shetty, Santan D’Souza and Manjunath Patkar.

In Kattingeri Ward Number I three representatives are to be elected out of 9 candidates of whom 2  are first timers-Ranjani Iyer and Hilda D’Souza. In Kattingeri Ward Number II (Edmeru) three representatives are to be chosen out of 6 candidates of whom 6 are first timers-Chandrika Hebbar (Wife of  Devdas Hebbar), Gururaj Bhat, Shivram Salian, Paul D’Souza, Sitaram Shetty and Satish Bhandary.

Some of the old candidates who are still in race include Devdas Hebbar  from Kattingeri Ward Number I, who is contesting for the fourth time and had been Vice President of the Belle Grama Panchayat; Jacintha Aranha from Kattingeri Ward Number II (Edmeru) who is contesting for the fifth time and was earlier member of the Kurkal-Belle Mandal Panchayat and once member of the Udupi Taluk Panchayat; Albert Martis from Belle ward Numbeer II who was earlier member of the Kurkal-Belle Mandal Panchayat; Leena Noronha from Belle Ward Number III (Padubelle) who is immediate past Vice President of Belle Grama Panchayat; Shashidhar Wagle of Belle ward Number IV who is the immediate past President of the Belle Grama Panchayat.

There were certain memorable moments during the elections. Seema D’Souza who was to get married in Pangala, before proceeding to her nuptials at the Pangala Church got down at the Edmeru School in all white bridal dress and cast her vote early in the morning at around 9 am before proceeding to Pangala. A number of old ladies came to the polling booths helped by their relatives to cast their votes.

Counting of the votes of all Grama Panchayat elections, 61 in number in the Udupi District will take place on 17th may 2010 at TMA Pai Institution near MGM College Udupi. The identification Number of Belle Grama Panchayat is 43. The results are expected to be announced by the evening of 17th May 2010.


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Comments on this Article
Arun Shetty, Sooda/ melmanjal Sun, May-16-2010, 6:29
Very good and special spirited old lady casting her vote. This is called democracy.
Victor D Almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Fri, May-14-2010, 11:09
Belle Grama Panchayat elections the voters turned out in good numbers among them I noticed one of my neighbour elderly woman came for the vote, thanks Anil for the picture, it is a good gesture, this reflect how wonderful our village is, plus our voters know what they want because some of the political parties candidates distributed money like sweets they think money can buy everything I don t think so,they need the jobs done.
Shashi, Ankudur/Bangalore Thu, May-13-2010, 1:32
Good to see this News here. However a brief introduction, of all the candidates contesting in the Election along with their vision to our village could have made little difference. People staying out of Belle could have seen Contestants. Hope this will be realized during next Election.
Naveen Kumar, Moodubelle Tue, May-11-2010, 3:06
This is called democracy .... a bride before getting married in the church going to polling booth and casting her vote. This shows the meaning and importance of true democracy. Hope the leaders will also have the seriousness towards common mans betterment.
preethi, moodu-belle Tue, May-11-2010, 12:48
All people of belle vote regularly but selection of dedicated leader is still a question mark...lets hope this time we will get good leaders for our community..
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Sun, May-9-2010, 10:26
Good to see that the election was peaceful and the voters turned out in good numbers. The report and pictures have been presented very well. The folks, bride on her way to nuptials, elderly people all these reflect how wonderful our village is.
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