The stage is set for the elections for six seats of the legislative council from the teachers’ and graduates’ constituencies on Sunday.
As many 61 candidates are in the fray and 16 candidates are contesting from the Bangalore graduates’ constituency alone. Voting is from 8 am to 4 pm. Counting of votes will be on June 13.
As preferential voting pattern is followed, electronic voting machines are not being used. A voter can express his/her preference using numbers on the ballot paper against the candidates’ names.
If the same number is marked against more #than one candidate or preference is expressed in words, then the vote is considered invalid. Voters should use only the pen provided by the polling officers to mark their choices on the ballot paper.
IAS officer Shambhu Dayal Meena, who is the returning officer for the Bangalore graduates’ and South-east teachers' constituency, said the voters’ list prepared in 2005 has been followed, as per the norms.
“There are nearly 1.10 lakh voters in the Bangalore graduates’ constituency. The names of the voters were published on the website of the CEO of the Election Commission. There has been no room for any hanky-panky.
Voters should realise that the returning officer can’t include any name suo motu. Sufficient time was given for voters to check for their names in the list,” he said, when asked to react to complaints about ‘missing names’.
Registered graduates of BBMP area, Bangalore urban, Bangalore rural and Ramanagara districts are eligible to vote. There are 109 polling booths.
For the Bangalore graduates’ constituency, the ruling BJP fielded seasoned politician Ramachandre Gowda. He has been MLC from the same constituency for the last 24 years. Ramojam and A Deve Gowda are the candidates from the Congress and the JD(S) respectively.
Ashwin Mahesh, a faculty of the IIM-B and member of India Against Corruption movement, is also in the fray. Former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and various citizens’ forums had campaigned for him, requesting voters to choose him as their representative. This is the first time he is trying his electoral chances.
There are three women candidates – K S Lakshmi of the CPM, Nagalakshmi Bai and I Sultana Begum (both independents). Lakshmi, who has been associated with various movements, is backed by various Kannada writers.
Interestingly, Ramachandra Gowda is facing a tough competition as the Congress and the JD(S) too have fielded Vokkaliga candidates.
The prime opponents of the BJP nominee are hoping that the medical recruitment scam, which made Ramachandra Gowda resign as medical education minister, would go against him.
Gowda is banking on his personal rapport with the voters to retain the seat, besides his experience in facing elections to the Council and the Lok Sabha. Gowda’s one-time loyalist, Y N Sharma, is also in the fray as an independent candidate.
He is hoping that educated Brahmin youths will stand by him. Sharma was earlier with the BJP and BSP. Less than 25 per cent of the voters belong to Vokkaliga community, he claims.
The South-East Teachers’ Constituency has 38 polling booths spread across Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Tumkur, Davangere and Chitradurga.
The prominent candidates are R N Chowdareddy (JD-S), Y A Narayanaswamy (BJP) and K B Ramalingappa (Cong).