Voting concluded in ‘Two assembly and Three Lok Sabha’ seats in Karnataka: Bypolls 2018

The Bellary parliamentary constituency of Karnataka witnessed a voter turnout of 63.85% , while Shimoga and Mandya constituencies recorded a turnout of 61.05 % and 53.94% respectively.

Legislative assembly constituencies Jamakhandi and Ramanagara witnessed a voter turnout of 81.58% and 73.71% respectively till 6 pm.
The voting in the five constituencies of Karnataka has been concluded now where bye-elections were held on Saturday.

Voting began for the bye-elections to two assembly and three Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka today. While the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded candidates in all five seats, the ruling Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition will fight the battle together for the first time.

Around 5.45 million voters will exercise their franchise and choose between 31 candidates across the five constituencies, according to Election Commission data.

Earlier, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa has said that his party will get absolute majority in all the five constituencies in Karnataka that are going to bypolls today.

“101% my son (BS Raghavendra) is going to win Shimoga seat. We are also going to win Bellary and Jamkhandi. We will get absolute majority in all the constituencies,” Yeddyurappa told reporters after offering prayers with his son at Hucharaya Swamy Temple in Shimoga, according to ANI.

The two leaders cast their votes at a booth in Shikaripura early in the morning.

Raghavendra also exuded confidence of winning the Shimoga seat. “This is a contest between our organisation and their money power. They have used all governmental power, but our workers are making all out efforts. Confident of winning in all 2,000 booths in Shivamogga constituency.”

BJP candidate for the Jamkhandi assembly constituency bypoll, Srikant Kulkarni cast his vote at booth no. 150 in Hirepadasalgi village of Jamkhandi. His rival from Congress, Anand Nyamagouda also exercised his franchise at booth no. 125.

Madhu Bangarappa, JDS candidate from parliamentary constituency of Shimoga, cast his vote at a polling booth in Kubtur. BJP MLA B Sriramulu cast his vote at polling station no. 52 in Bellary city.

Voting was delayed in booth 179 in Mottedoddi of Ramanagara after a snake was spotted inside the polling booth. Polling resumed after the snake was removed.

The bye-elections to the three Lok Sabha constituencies of Ballari, Mandya and Shivamogga were necessitated after B Sreeramulu of the BJP, CS Puttaraju of the JD(S) and BS Yeddyurappa took oath as MLAs after the May assembly polls.

The Jamakhandi assembly constituency fell vacant after the sitting legislator Siddu Nyamgoud died in a car accident in May, days after he was elected to the assembly. The Ramangara constituency fell vacant after chief minister HD Kumaraswamy took oath as the legislator of Channapatna, the second seat he contested.

The three principal parties have turned to the family members of leaders to contest the seats they vacated. In Shivamogga, the BJP has fielded BY Raghavendra, son of former chief minister Yeddyurappa. He is up against Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S), son of the former chief minister S Bangarappa.

The BJP’s candidate in Ballari, which is reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Tribes communities, is J Shantha, who is the sister of Sreeramulu. She will face VS Ugrappa, who is a member of Legislative Council.

In Jamakhandi, the Congress has fielded Siddu Nyamgoud’s son Anand, who will face an uphill task against Shrikant Kulkarni of the BJP, who lost out by less than 3,000 votes in May.

Meanwhile, in Ramanagara, Anitha Kumaraaswamy, the chief minsiter’s wife, is the JD(S) candidate. It is in this seat that the BJP faced its biggest embarrassment after its candidate L Chandrashekar, a Congress rebel, withdrew from the race on Thursday.

However, as the withdrawal came after the allotted time, his name will still appear on the electronic voting machine, the EC confirmed. On Friday, the BJP had also petitioned the commission to postpone the election to the seat, but voting is set to go ahead as scheduled.

The campaigning for the elections have seen leaders resort to personal jibes against each other, most notably with mining baron G Janardhan Reddy claiming that former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s son passed away in 2015 as divine punishment for the latter separating Reddy from his children by jailing him.

The Congress and JD(S) have had to troubleshoot often during the campaigning, especially in the Vokkaliga dominated areas of southern Karnataka, as party workers have failed to cooperate despite requests from the top leadership.