Karnataka bypolls: Heavy turnout in rural, poor in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Dec 5 (IANS): An estimated 62.18 per cent average voting was registered in the crucial by-elections on Thursday to 15 Karnataka Assembly constituencies, whose results will have a key bearing on the state's political future.

"The average voting for all the 15 Assembly seats after polling ended at 6 p.m. is an estimated 62.18 per cent, with heavy turnout (over 75 per cent) in 8 rural segments and below 50 per cent in 4 Bengaluru seats," poll official G. Jadiyappa told IANS here.

The final percentage is likely to go up marginally, as voters were still in queues after the gates of the polling stations were shut at 6 p.m., he added.

A record 86.40 per cent was registered in Chikkaballapur, a rural constituency, about 60km east of Bengaluru.

Congress defector K. Sudhakar is the ruling BJP's candidate in this prestigious seat.

K.R. Pete in Mandya district recorded a whopping 80 per cent. BJP fielded K.C. Narayana Gowda, a Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) defector from this rural segment.

Similarly, Yellapur in Uttar Kannada district registered 77.52 per cent. The BJP fielded Congress defector Shivaram Hebbar from this rural constituency.

Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural district registered an estimated 76.19 per cent. The ruling BJP fielded Congress defector M.T.B. Nagaraj, who declared a whopping Rs 1,223 crore worth of assets in his nomination affidavit.

Athani in Belagavi district in the state's northwest region, recorded 75.23 per cent, where Congress defector Mahesh Kumatahalli contested on a BJP ticket.

Likewise, Hunasuru in Mysuru district registered 74.47 per cent. The BJP fielded JD-S defector A.H. Vishwanath from this rural seat.

Gokak in Belagavi district has registered 73.08 per cent. Congress defector Ramesh Jarkiholi contested on the BJP ticket in this high-profile seat.

Hirekerur in Belagavi district recorded 72.42 per cent. The BJP fielded Congress defector B.C. Patil from this rural segment.

As in the past, the four assembly segments in Bengaluru registered below 50 per cent, with the lowest - 37.50 per cent in K.R. Pura in the city's eastern suburb. Congress defector Byrathi Basavaraj is the BJP candidate from this urban seat.

Similarly, Mahalakshmi Layout in the city's northwest, had a low turnout of 40.47 per cent. The BJP fielded JD-S defector K. Gopalaiah.

Shivajinagar in the heart of Bengaluru also witnessed a low turnout of 41.13 per cent. The BJP fielded its former corporator M. Saravana from this high-profile urban segment.

Yeshwanthapura in the city's north, however, had a modest turnout of 48.34 per cent. Congress defector S.T. Somashekar is the BJP's candidate in this urban seat.

Voting percentage in other three assembly segments are Kagwad 69.76, Ranibennur 67.92 and Vijayanagara 58.93.

Barring glitches in the EVMs and voters names missing in the electoral list in some polling stations, voting was peaceful amid tight security.

There were also reports of voters boycotting the polls in some areas over various issues.

The 15 constituencies had nearly 38 lakh eligible voters - 19.25 lakh men and 18.52 lakh women.

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

However, bypolls are only being 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 only in 12 seats.

The vote count is on December 9.

The outcome of the bye-elections will decide the survival and continuation of the four-month-old BJP government in the southern state.

The ruling BJP, 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.


Live updates:

5.14 pm - Voting has been brisk to moderate in most of the Assembly segments since afternoon registering 47 per cent average at 3:00 p.m., with highest in Chikkaballapur in the southern region and lowest in K R Pura in Bengaluru East. 

4.19 pm - K R Pet in Mandya district records a voter turnout of 59.86% up to 3 pm

3.40 pm - Polling in Belagavi district increased to 53.69% at 3 pm

2.11 pm - Voters turnout from 7 am to 1 pm in K R Pet 39.47%

1.56 pm - Polling increased as day progressed in Belagavi district. At 1 pm Athani recorded 40.89% with 89886 votes being cast, Kagwad 37.72% with 70227 votes being cast and Gokak 37.37% with 91298 votes being cast

1.40 pm - Voting picks pace in Yeshwantpur. Yeswhantpur constituency that was just 13.13% till 11am has managed to record 27.29% of voting turnout at 1pm with 1,31252 votes of 4,80953 total registered voters in the constituency. On the other hand Mahalakshmi Layout that had highest percentage of voting with 15.71% could just jump to 22.71% of voting with 64,921 votes of 2,85,869 total registered voters in the constituency till 1pm.

1 pm - Polling at booth No 59 at Konnur in Gokak taluk in Belagavi district coming under Gokak assembly constituency was stopped due to technical snag. Officials are working to resolve the snag.

12.27 pm - Following technical glitches, a EVM was replaced at polling station 136 at Hunsur town.

12.20 am - Poor voter turn out in Mahalakshmi Layout and Yeshwantpur constituencies till 11am. Mahalakshmi Layout records 44,910 votes of total 2,85,869 electors, marking a voter turnout of just 15.71%. Yeshwantpur constituency records just 63,145 votes of total 4,80,953 registered voters marking a voter turnout of 13.13% till 11 am.

12.05 am - At 23.87%, the Yellapur constituency has seen the highest voter turnout so far, followed by Athani at 23.1% and Hoskote at 22.39%. Among the four Bengaluru constituencies, Mahalakshmi Layout has the highest turnout with 15.71% voters exercising their franchise. Yeshwanthpur saw a 13.13% turnout, followed by KR Puram at 10.97% and Shivajinagar with the lowest at 9.2%. The total average turnout as on 11 am is 17.60%.

11.40 am - Athani reported 23.10% polling, Kagwad 21.34% and Gokak 20.45% until 11 am. Over 50,700 voters in Athani, 39,742 in Kagwad and 49,966 in Gokak voters exercised their rights.

11.34 am - There was confusion at two booths in the morning at K R Puram's Singayyanapalya after the voting machine stopped working for about 10 minutes.

11.24 am - Hunsur: 19.12 % votes polled in Hunsur segment until 11 am. Male: 24,770 Female:18,814 Others:1 Total:43,585

11.15 am - Gokak assembly constituency recorded 20.45% polling until 11 am with 49,966 voters casting vote.

11.08 am - 12% polling recorded in K R Pet constituency till 11 am.

11.05 am - At one of the booths in B Narayanapura in K R Puram, a heated argument took place between Congress and BJP workers. BJP supporters claimed that the Congress agents did not belong to this area andthey had entered booths without documents.

9.55 am - EVM changed at polling booth No 3 at Athani located at Tangdi polling station due to technical snag

9.36 am - Hoskote constituency is leading with a voter turnout of 9% so far, the highest among the 15 constituencies where polling is underway. Bengaluru’s Shivajinagar is the lowest with a voter turnout of 3.04%.The average turnout at 9 am is 6.06% across all 15 constituencies.

9.33 am - Until 9 am, Athani recorded 8.33% polling, Kagwad 6.94% and Gokak 6.11%.

9.23 am - 6.20% voter turnout recorded in K R Pet until 9 am.

9.20 am - Voting wasdelayed by 40 minutes at Bandihole village in K R Pet, due to technical problem. It has resumed now.

8. 55 am - In Hunsur, as many as 96 voters, 55 men and 41 women, cast vote at the sensitive Manuganahalli polling station.

8.33 am - Polling is taking place at a slow pace in all three assembly constituencies Athani, Kagwad and Gokak in Belagavi district.

8.18 am - Bypolls for Hunsur Assembly segment has commenced too.

7:39 am - Polling is delayed in booth No. 99 in Athani constituency due to a technical snag.


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