By-polls to 3 LS and 2 Assembly Seats: Mandya witnesses poor voter turnout

Bengaluru:  Voting for the by-polls to five seats in the State ended last evening with two Assembly seats – Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi registering higher voter turnout than the three Parliamentary Constituencies of Mandya, Ballari and Shivamogga.

Jamkhandi Assembly constituency in Bagalkot district saw 77.17 percentage polling, higher than its May 2018 Assembly poll turnout, while Mandya Lok Sabha Constituency registered the lowest voter turnout with 53.93 percent, which is far below that the 71.42 percent it had recorded in the 2014 LS polls.

In Mandya, L.R. Shivaramegowda of the JD(S) is pitted against BJP’s Dr. Siddharamaiah, a former IRS officer. Polling commenced at 7am and concluded at 6pm, with a steady improvement in voter turnout as the day progressed.

Ballari Lok Sabha seat that witnessed a proxy war between BJP’s Sriramulu and D.K. Shivakumar of the Congress, with J. Shantha and U.S. Ugrappa as respective candidates, recorded a total polling percentage of 63.85, much lower than its 2014 performance of 70.28 per cent.

Shivamogga Parliamentary Constituency, that is witnessing a battle of prestige between State BJP Chief B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra and former CM S. Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa, recorded a polling percentage of 61.05, again a much lower turnout than in 2014, when 72.31 per cent voting was recorded. The term of these MPs will be less than 6 months. The Ramanagaram Assembly segment, saw a tepid voter turnout of 71.88 per cent, far less than the 82.55 per cent it has recorded in May 2018 polls.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy who is contesting as the JD(S) candidate from Ramanagaram, is expected to have smooth sailing after BJP nominee L. Chandrashekar retired from the contest and rejoined the Congress just two days before the polls.

The highest voter turnout in yesterday’s by-elections was in Jamkhandi Assembly constituency, which recorded 77.17 per cent. The Constituency is witnessing a keen tussle between Anand Nyamagouda, of the Congress and Srikanth Kulkarni of the BJP.

While Anand Nyamagouda is the son of late Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, whose death in a road mishap necessitated the by-poll, the BJP’s Srikanth Kulkarni is a veteran party leader who lost in the May 2018 polls.

Counting to be taken up on Nov. 6

The by-polls for the first time, saw the Election Commission offering pick up and drop facility for the physically challenged. The by-elections are seen to be significant as the ruling coalition partners — JD(S) and Congress — contested together terming it as a prelude to the 2019 General Elections. The BJP which has been expressing doubts over the longevity of the State’s coalition Government, has predicted its fall once the by-poll results are out on Nov. 6.

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