State scores a centum in President poll voting

State scores a centum in President poll voting

The Presidential elections in the state witnessed 100 per cent polling with 223 MLAs and all the nine MPs, who had opted to vote in Bangalore, exercising their franchise.

The 224-member Karnataka Assembly has one vacancy following the resignation of Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivasa Shetty.

Polling started at 10 am at room 106 in Vidhana Soudha and Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy was the first to vote. 

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka exercised their franchise soon after the BJP legislature party meeting.

The polling also brought to fore the fissures within the BJP with some factions coming in groups to cast their ballot. Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi, who had opposed the change in leadership in the State and is at present sour at not having been given a plum portfolio, voted along with his group of  supporters. 

MLAs N Sampangi, G N Nanjundaswamy, Anand Asnotikar, Manappa Vajjal and Sarvabhouma Bagali accompanied Jarkiholi.

Independent MLA B Sriramulu exercised his franchise with BJP MP Sanna Fakirappa, and BJP legislators Suresh Babu, B Nagendra and G Somashekar Reddy. Sriramulu told reporters that all the legislators and MPs identified with him had voted for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Sriramulu’s sister J Shantha (a Lok Sabha member) voted in New Delhi.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and five other MPs  - Rama Jois, Ayanur Manjunath, B Y Raghavendra, G M Siddesh, N Cheluvarayaswamy - voted in Bangalore, after seeking the prior consent of the Election Commission of India.

Gowda was accompanied by his son Kumaraswamy, Cheluvarayaswamy and all 26 JD(S) MLAs. They cast their vote one after another. Gowda said his party had supported Mukherjee. He said the election to the post of Vice-President should be unanimous. It is clear that the NDA does not have the numbers and they should withdraw their candidate, he said.

The Hadagali MLA, Chandra Naik, was the last to exercise his franchise at 4.30 pm, half an hour before close of polling. “I  started late from my constituency as today is Amavasya,” he said.

Sidelights

* Agriculture Marketing Minister S K Bellubbi exercised his franchise wearing the traditional North Karnataka headgear - Romaal

* Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas was one of the last to vote, as he was taking rest due to high fever

* Congress MLA Rudresh Gowda, whose vote was rendered invalid during the Rajya Sabha polls due to an unsteady hand, took the help of assistant returning officer P Omprakash to vote

* Yelburga MLA Eshanna Gulagannavar, who has been keeping unwell for some time, was brought to the polling room in a wheelchair

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