Moderate turnout in Karnataka by-polls

Nov 04, 2018, 14:50 IST | Agencies

The parliamentary constituencies Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya witnessed 65.85 per cent, 61.05 per cent and 53.93 per cent respectively

Moderate turnout in Karnataka by-polls
The polls are being viewed as a litmus test for the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition. Pic/PTI

The Karnataka by-elections held on Saturday for three Lok Sabha and two Vidhan Sabha seats saw an estimated 67 per cent voter turnout. The Jamakhandi legislative constituency recorded a voting percentage of 77.17 per cent, while Ramanagaram constituency recorded over 71.18 per cent. The parliamentary constituencies Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya witnessed 65.85 per cent, 61.05 per cent and 53.93 per cent respectively.

The by-elections which began at 7 am is being seen as a litmus test for the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in the state. Both alliance partners have fielded joint candidates in all the seats. The JD (S) is contesting the Mandya and Shimoga Lok Sabha seats and the Ramanagara assembly constituency, while the Congress has put up candidates in the Bellary Lok Sabha seat and Jamakhandi assembly seat.

In Ramanagara, the JD (S) has fielded Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha Kumaraswamy. The by-poll was necessitated after Kumaraswamy, who contested on two seats — Channapatna and Ramanagara — in the assembly elections earlier this year, decided to resign from Ramanagara.

The Shimoga Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after former state chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yeddyurappa decided not to contest the assembly election from Shikaripura.

Lok Sabha elections for Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya seats are due next year. Yeddyurappa, who cast his vote earlier today, told the media that he was confident of his son, BS Raghavendra, winning from Shimoga, which is known as the bastion of the BJP. He claimed that the BJP will get an absolute majority in all the five constituencies.

"101 per cent my son (BS Raghavendra) is going to win the Shimoga seat. We are also going to win Bellary and Jamakhandi," Yeddyurappa said. Results of polling will be declared on November 6.

Protests marred voting at a village in Bellary
The villagers were protesting the lack of water supply in their village. The district administration had arranged water supply through tankers but it was not sufficient to meet the day-to-day requirements, they said. "Most borewells in our village have gone dry. Those which are functional have high fluoride content, which is not potable," an agitating villager told reporters. The villagers had been cautioning the district authorities for the past three-four days that unless their water requirements were met, they would not vote. However, their warnings were not taken seriously and thus Saturday morning saw hundreds of women holding empty pitchers staging a demonstration here.

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