Bangalore : About 20-25 percent of the 46 million electorate voted in the first five hours Thursday in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies across Karnataka, an official said.
"The polling percentage is between 20-25 percent with more in southern and coastal regions than in northern and central areas till 12 p.m.," Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told IANS here.
Voting began on a brisk note in many constituencies across the old Mysore region in south and coastal areas, while it started on a dull note in northern and central areas but picked up later.
"Polling is being held peacefully amid tight security. Barring a few complaints of electronic voting machines (EVMs) malfunctioning or not working and names of some voters missing from the electoral list, voting is on smoothly," Jha said.
With day temperature rising on a hot day, voter turnout in about 80 percent of the 54,261 polling booths across the 28 constituencies will drop, as voters are unlikely to come out of their homes between 1-4 p.m. in large numbers.
"We expect a heavy turnout in the evening till 6 p.m. at all polling stations. Though all gates to booths will be shut at 6 p.m., we will allow all present in booths by 6 p.m. to cast vote," Jha said.
There were reports of a few hundreds of voters boycotting poll in one or two villages in Chamarajagar, Mysore, Gulbarga and Tumkur seats as a mark of protest against denial of social benefits and absence of basic amenities such as water, roads and power supply.
Unlike in past, polling is being held in single phase on one day across the state.
The state has 46 million registered voters, constituting 70 percent of the population (64 million).
As India's tech hub, Bangalore has 6.3 million voters out of nine-million people.
Among prominent candidates in fray are Infosys co-founder and technocrat Nandan Nilekani from the high-profile Bangalore South constituency, home to about 800 IT firms like Infosys, Wipro and multinationals from the US and Europe.
Nilekani's former colleague and former Infosys director V. Balakrishnan is also contesting from Bangalore Central seat as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate.
"It is a very important election, as it will decide the country's future, the idea of India and its philosophy," Nielkani told IANS after casting his vote.
Noting that he was overwhelmed by the voters' response in Bangalore, especially by first-timers and youth, Nilekani said people of Bangalore South want change as the outgoing lawmaker (N.H. Ananth Kumar of the BJP) has been a non-performer though he had won from the seat for five times since 1996.
Balakrihnan said people of India were looking for a change as they were fed up with the present leaders.
"We ran an honest and high impact campaign over the last three weeks. The choice before voters in my constituency is very clear - an absentee incumbent (BJP's PC. Mohan), a candidate (Rizwan Arshad) of Congress and an honest candidate like me with no criminal record. This election is going to be a defining year for honest politics," said Balakrishan.