Bypolls, ZP, TP polls pass off peacefully

Bypolls, ZP, TP polls pass off peacefully

Polling for byelections to three Assembly constituencies, including Hebbal in Bengaluru, and the first phase of zilla and taluk panchayat elections was near peaceful on Saturday, with no major incidents of violence.  

According to preliminary reports received by the Office of Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, Hebbal constituency  registered around 44.48 per cent polling.

Devadurga constituency recorded 66.6 per cent, while Bidar witnessed 61 per cent polling. Results will be out on February 16. 

The polling percentage of the first phase of elections to zilla and taluk panchayats covering 15 districts, was not available till late Saturday evening. The State Election Commission is expected to declare the poll percentage on Sunday. Due to mix up of ballot papers, repolling has been ordered in a polling station in Uttara Kannada district.

The second and final phase of polling is scheduled for February 20. The results would be out on February 23.  As many as 20 candidates are in the fray for the Hebbal seat, where the BJP and the Congress are locked in a neck-and-neck contest.  The Congress has fielded C K Abdul Rahaman Sharief, who is the grandson of senior Congress leader C K Jaffer Sharief, while two-time MLC Y A Narayanaswamy is the BJP candidate. The JD(S) has fielded Ismail Shariff. 

In Bidar, the Congress has fielded Rahim Khan against Prakash Khandre of the BJP. The JD(S) candidate is Ayaz Khan. Devadurga is witnessing an interesting, all-in-the family contest. Rajashekhar Naik is the Congress candidate, while his son-in-law K Shivanagouda Naik is the BJP nominee. The JD(S) has fielded Karemma Gopalakrishna. Byelections to the three seats were necessitated by the death of sitting MLAs.  BJP state president and Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar staged a dharna in Hubballi against what the party termed as goondaism of Minister of Mines and Geology Vinay Kulkarni. They accused Kulkarni of abuse of power and demanded his sacking. The party has planned a state-wide agitation from Sunday. 

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