Karnataka bypolls: 67.9% final voter turnout

Bengaluru: Around 67.9 per cent (26 lakh) of the 38 lakh voters cast their ballot in Thursday’s by elections in 15 Karnataka Assembly segments, an official said on Friday.

“The final average voting percentage in the 15 Assembly seats has gone up to 67.9 per cent from 66.49 per cent after postal ballots were added to the votes registered in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the 4,185 polling stations,” Election Commission official G. Jadiyappa told IANS here.

Of the total electors (37,77,984), including 19,25,535 men, 18,52,036 women and 413 others, 13,10,344 men, 12,54,874 women and 34 others voted, taking the total number of voters who exercised their franchise to 25,65,252.

“As a result, 8 constituencies in semi-urban and rural areas witnessed heavy turnout, registering above 75 per cent, while 4 seats in Bengaluru Urban had lower turnout, registering below 60 per cent,” said Jadiyappa.

Hosakote in Bengaluru Rural district recorded the highest voting percentage of 90.90, followed by Chikkaballapur 86.84 per cent, Hunasuru 80.59 per cent, Krishnarajapete 80.52 per cent, Hirekerur 79.03 per cent, Yellapur 77.53 per cent, Kagwad 76.24 per cent and Athani 75.37 per cent.

The lowest percentage of 46.74 was registered in K.R. Pura in Bengaluru East, followed by Shivajinagar in the city centre at 48.05 per cent, Mahalakshmi Layout in the city’s northwest at 51.21 per cednt and Yeshvanthapura in the city’s north with 59.10 per cent.

Voting percentage in other 3 constituencies are 73.93 in Ranibennur in Haveri district, 73.03 in Gokak in Belagavi district and 65.02 in Vijayanagara in Ballari district across the state’s central and northwest regions.

As many as 165 candidates, including 126 Independents and 9 women were in the fray in the 15 Assembly seats, necessitated by the resignation and subsequent disqualification of 14 Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel MLAs, which led to the collapse of the then 14-month-old H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government on July 23.

However, bypolls were held in 15 seats, since there is ongoing litigation in the Karnataka High Court over the results of two seats — Muski (Raichur district) and R.R. Nagar (Bengaluru) in the May 2018 Assembly elections.

The BJP and the opposition Congress contested in all the 15 Assembly seats, while the JD-S in 12 seats.

The ruling party, which has 105 members, including one independent but excluding the Speaker, needs to win seven more seats to have a majority in the 225-member Assembly, whose current strength is 223.

The Congress has 66 members, the JD-S 34 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) one.