The Hebbal constituency saw 44.48 percent of the electorate, covering eight BBMP wards, casting their votes in Saturday’s byelection. Polling went on peacefully without any major incidents of violence. In 2013, the constituency had recorded 54.89 percent polling.
Congress and BJP workers indulged in a heated argument at Vishwanatha Nagenahalli near Hebbal flyover, each alleging election malpractice. BJP workers objected to some “mysterious” people roaming around polling booths and charged the Congress with trying to influence voters.
BJP workers accused the Congress of bringing people from outside Hebbal constituency to cast bogus votes. On learning about the incident, BJP candidate Y A Narayanaswamy arrived at the spot and demanded that the police take action against “outsiders.”
Narayanaswamy charged supporters of Congress MLA from K R Puram Byrathi Basavaraj with distributing money to voters. The ruling party has been misusing its power in the byelection and has been indulging in election malpractice since Friday evening, he added.
The police, however, managed to bring the situation under control. C K Abdul Rahaman Sharief is the Congress candidate, while the JD(S) has fielded Ismail Shariff Nana.
When contacted, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said he has received some complaints of people distributing money in the constituency on Friday evening. Directions have been issued to take appropriate action, he added. The electorate in the constituency didn’t seem to show any enthusiasm for the byelections. Polling booths wore a deserted look early in the morning in most places. But it picked up after 10 am.
Kannada cine actor and Congress MLC Jayamala and her daughter Soundarya were not allowed to vote at a polling booth in Dollar's Colony as they had no proof of identity. They went back home and returned after some time with their electoral photo identity cards and cast their votes.
This apart, JD(S) leader B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan said he deliberately kept away from the party campaign to prevent division of Muslim votes. “Both the Congress and the JD(S) candidates are Muslims. Division of Muslim votes benefits the BJP. Hence, I kept away from the campaign to prevent the communal party from winning the byelections, he added.