Gundlupet: High voter turnout attributed to young voters, migrants

Gundlupet: High voter turnout attributed to young voters, migrants

A record voter turnout (87.10%) was witnessed in byelection to Gundlupet Assembly constituency on Sunday. In fact, it was the highest poll percentage recorded in an Assembly election in Gundlupet segment since the first election held in 1952.

The unusually high voter turnout has prompted the people and the political pundits make calculations on which party will benefit from the high poll percentage.

It’s an open secret that the Congress and BJP had taken the bypolls seriously. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet ministers descended on Gundlupet and Nanjangud to make sure their party candidate M C Mohanakumari (Geetha Mahadev Prasad) cross the line.

Similarly, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa and his entourage, including MP Shobha Karandlaje and V Somanna, camped in the constituency to ensure his party win semi-finals ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls. Union Ministers Ananth Kumar, D V Sadananda Gowda, leaders Arvind Limbavali and others canvassed for the party candidate C S Niranjan Kumar.

The intensity of campaigning was such that the parties toured the constituency extensively. For BJP, Srinagar Kitty, Tara, Shruthi, Malavika and others visited the villages and advised the people to exercise their franchise, giving the example of A R Krishnamurthy, who lost by just a vote in the 2004 Assembly election.

However, the leaders are happy and surprised over the enthusiasm shown by the voters. The constituency had registered 85.25% in 2013 elections, which was a record, so far. The lowest was 50.47% in the 1952 elections, when Gundlupet was a two-member constituency.

Migrant voters

It is said, the people, who have migrated to Kerala and neighbouring districts in search of jobs, responded well to the calls made by the party workers. They returned home and cast their votes, increasing the voting percentage.

Young voters

The youths too turned out in large numbers at the polling booths, waiting in queues to cast their votes. The number of voters in 2013 elections was 1,90,420, which has increased to 2,00,862 in the 2017 bypolls. Around 10,422 youths were included in the voters list in the past one year. They might even be a deciding factor in the outcome.

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