Gundlupet: Fate of seven candidates to be sealed today

Gundlupet: Fate of seven candidates to be sealed today

The destiny of candidates in the Gundlupet Assembly constituency will be sealed by noon today thereby putting an end to the flurry of speculations ever since by-elections were announced on March 9.

The bypoll was necessitated in the taluk after Cooperation Minister H S Mahadev Prasad passed away in the first week of January. In all, seven candidates contested the bypolls including Congress candidate M C Mohanakumari and BJP candidate C S Niranjan Kumar. The fight however, was direct between Congress and the BJP.

Congress left no stone unturned to retain the seat as more than 50% of Grama Panchayats had Congress supporters. Hence, the victory of Mohanakumari is crucial for the local leaders also. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also held roadshows instilling confidence and enthusiasm among the party workers and voters.

For BJP however, a win here has been elusive. The party, which failed to win the Assembly constituency so far, is enthusiastic to open its account. BJP’s Niranjan Kumar had earlier, in 2008 and 2013, been defeated by Mahadev Prasad with narrow margins. BJP leaders started canvassing for the party candidate right from day one.

Prestige at stake

Eleven checkposts were opened by the Election Commission and additional personnel were deputed to prevent any illegal activity in view of the election. Cases were registered against both the parties for violation of poll code of conduct. In spite of seizing unaccounted cash, money flowed into the constituency, officials said.

The EC had set up 250 polling booths in the constituency. Party workers have likewise been busy calculating the winner based on the percentage of polling in the booths dominated by Congress and BJP respectively. From the beginning the election has been a matter of prestige for Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa and it is no wonder that a photo finish victory is expected in the taluk.