Impressive voter turnout in Nanjangud, Gundlupet bypolls

Impressive voter turnout in Nanjangud, Gundlupet bypolls

An good voter turnout was recorded during byelection from the two neighbouring Assembly constituencies of Nanjangud in Mysore district and Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district on Sunday.

An estimated 77.56% of the electorate cast their votes in the Nanjangud (SC reserved) constituency while 87.10% of voters exercised their franchise in Gundlupet.

The election was largely peaceful. The Congress and BJP workers had heated exchanges near the Government Higher Primary School in Gundlupet town.

The police rushed to the spot and resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd. Two people were injured in the melee. Devamma (80) died after returning home after casting her vote at Hangala village in Gundlupet taluk.

Some villagers of Mahadev Nagar in Nanjangud boycotting the polling initially, stating that no political party has taken steps for the development of the village. They were later convinced to cast their votes. The counting of votes will be held on April 13.

Technical glitches in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported from a few places and the same were addressed by the authorities. Voter Verified Paper Audited Trial (VVPAT) units were used with the EVMs for the first time in Karnataka during the Sunday’s bypolls, coveing all the boths in both the constituencies: 236 booths in Nanjangud and 250 in Gundlupet.

It is a straight contest between the ruling Congress and the principal Opposition BJP in both the constituencies with the JD(S) not fielding its candidates.

The bypoll for the Nanjangud seat was necessitated following the resignation of the Congress MLA V Srinivas Prasad. He quit his Assembly membership after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dropped him from the Cabinet while reshuffling his council of ministers in June 2016. Later, Prasad joined the BJP and contested the bypoll as it candidate. Unable to find a suitable candidate from its ranks to take on Prasad, the Congress inducted local JD(S) leader Kalale N Keshavamurthy and fielded him as it nominee. He had lost to Prasad in the 2013 Assembly polls.

Gundlupet witnessed a byelection following the death of its MLA and the then Cooperation minister H S Mahadev Prasad at a resort in Chikkamagaluru in January.

The Congress gave the ticket to his wife M C Mohana Kumari (Geetha Mahadev Prasad) while the BJP fielded C S Niranjan Kumar, who was defeated twice by Mahadev Prasad. Mohanakumari cast her vote at Halahalli and Niranjan Kumar at a booth in Chowdahalli.

Ballot paper hangover?
Though it has been several years since EVMs replaced ballot papers, the Election Commission officials had put up notice in front of polling booths, which read: “Ballot papers should be dropped only into the ballot box, it should not be taken out.”

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