Betting fever grips villages post bypolls in Nanjangud

Villagers pledge animals, gold, vehicles; results on Thursday

Betting fever grips villages post bypolls in Nanjangud

With just a day left for counting of votes for the bypolls to the Nanjangud Assembly constituency, villagers have been indulging in widespread betting to predict the winner of the elections. The results will be declared on Thursday.

Candidates meanwhile have been strategising their next move after voting ended on April 9. The results of the bypolls are awaited with baited breath as both BJP and Congress party leaders are playing for pride.

Gambling is in fact not restricted to only the constituency but has also extended across the district. Major players involved in betting are villagers and booth-level party workers. Villagers have pledged domestic animals, gold ornaments and vehicles.

The stake amount ranges between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh. A villager is said to have bet Rs 1 lakh in favour of the Congress candidate. However, compared to rural Mysuru, gambling is less in urban Mysuru.

The menace is rampant in villages like Doddakavalande, Hulahalli and adjoining areas. People were seen discussing about the results at shops, hotels and in villages such as Kuppasoge, Haradanahalli, Gattadipur, Golur and others. According to sources in the police department, it has become difficult for them to crack gambling cases.

Money rules the roost

A BJP worker in Hulahalli claimed that party workers were confident that BJP would win the election with a good lead of 5,000 votes over the Congress candidate. He said Congress workers had distributed money among voters on the eve of election day.

Similarly, a Congress worker at Veeradevanapur said that the village is dominated by Congress supporters which is why BJP workers had lured voters by distributing money and also by promising them various benefits.

Election authorities had seized a huge amount of unaccounted cash and arrested a few people for violating the model code of conduct which came in to force on March 9. Cases were filed against Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Women’s wing president Lakshmi Hebbalkar on the charge of distributing money in the constituency. A video of BJP state unit president B S Yeddyurappa giving money to family members of a farmer who committed suicide went viral.

Good turnout

As compared to 2013 polls, a good voter turnout in the constituency. In 2013, the constituency had registered 76.18% turnout (out of 1,85,095 voters) but this time it is is 77.45 %.

The segment has a total of 2,00,498 voters, including 1,01,267 men, 99,231 women and nine others of which 1,24,163 voters have exercised their franchise.

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