When Congress, Independents held sway

When Congress, Independents held sway

 The 1957 elections, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Indian Independence, saw the citizens show involvement in and concern about selection of representatives.

The right to franchise was enthusiastically utilised by the citizens, regardless of the rate of literacy or education. Also, the party of the candidate or whether it was an Independent, too, did not matter much to the people.

Karnataka had not attained complete Statehood in 1957, following the language based division of states and regions. It was still known as Mysore and the Assembly too had the same name. The Chikkaballapur region had four constituencies, with the current Bagepalli and Gudibande being included in the double-member Chikkaballapur constituencies, which was reserved for Scheduled Caste.

The election authorities had taken additional care to ensure there were no untoward incidents during the elections. Close police security had been provided to the sensitive areas and the polling booths. Polling was conducted on February 25, 1957. The citizens were also advised not to keep away from polling for any reason. Eligible voters were urged to use their right to franchise unfailingly. A total of 1,07,184 voters cast ballots during the polls.

Congress candidates S Muniraju and A Muniyappa were both elected from Chikkaballapur constituency. Winning Independence is said to have had a major influence over the Congress victory.

The voters in the other constituencies, however, preferred to choose Independent candidates.
In Chintamani, 47,894 of the 31,789 eligible voters cast ballot. The outcome saw the Congress candidate M C Anjaneya Reddy lost to Independent candidate T K Gangireddy by 3,816 votes.
Independent candidate K H Venkatareddy won in Gauribidanur, defeating Congress candidate N C Nagaiah Reddy by 13,727 votes, the widest gap between the winner and the runner-up in Chikkaballapur. Voting reached 69.77 per cent in Gauribidanur.

The situation was similar in Shidlaghatta, where an Independent candidate J Venkatappa defeated A Avalareddy. Voting was up to 61 per cent in the constituency.

Ironically, since the elections were not very long after getting Independence, the Congress was the only dominant party in Chikkaballapur. Yet, of the five constituencies, it managed to win only two, failing to win a majority of seats.

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