Polling peaceful in Mandya amid boycott threat

Mysuru: A 52.63 per cent turnout was reported in Saturday's parliamentary bypoll from Mandya on Saturday. While the Kurubas and people of a few villages, who had threatened to boycott it, voted in the byelection, some villagers and sugarcane growers stayed away, according to Mandya Deputy Commissioner, N Manjushree and Mandya SP, Shiva Prakash Devaraju.

People of Kaalammana Koppalu village in KR Nagar taluk boycotted the polling despite the efforts of the tahsildar, executive officer and police, the villagers refused to vote, according to Ms Manjushree. As many as  50 members of the Sugarcane Growers Federation too boycotted the voting and protested before the NSL Sugarcane Factory in Mandya, as it had not paid the farmers. Although over 50,000 people from the Kuruba community of K R Nagar taluk had threatened to stay away from the polling, they reportedly relented following the intervention of former chief minister Siddaramaiah and voted in the bypoll on Saturday. 

Actor-turned-politician Ambarish, who voted in his native village of Doddarasinakere along with transport minister D.C. Thammanna, was optimistic that Mr Shivaramegowda of JD(S) would win from Mandya with over five lakh votes. “All five candidates of the Congress -JD (S) coalition will win the bypolls,” he declared. Actress- turned- politician, Ramya, however, did not vote. She has reportedly not voted for the third consecutive time, having stayed away from the assembly and the Mandya urban local body elections earlier.

Meanwhile, Congress leader G L Raghavendra, returned without voting in Gejjalagere village as  Congress workers in the district are reportedly upset over the party not fielding a candidate of its own in the bypoll.

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