Kundgol, Chincholi see good turnout in byelections

Women wait in a queue to exercise their franchise in the bypoll, at a polling booth at Koravi Dodda tanda in Chincholi Assembly constituency, Kalaburagi district, on Sunday. DH Photo/Prashanth H G

Brisk polling was recorded in the byelections to Chincholi (SC reserved) and Kundgol Assembly constituencies on Sunday. While Kundgol in Dharwad district had recorded 81.33% polling, Chincholi in Kalaburagi district registered 70.33% polling, according to the state Election Commission.

Save for minor technical glitches of malfunctioning EVMs and VVPATs, the polling was held smoothly. No untoward incidents were reported.

Over 70 EVMs in polling stations set up at Neema Hosalli, Miriyana, Somalingadalli, Venkatapur, Garampalli, Inolli, Naranala and other villages of Chincholi constituency developed technical snags. Similarly, in Kundgol, polling officials replaced 23 VVPATs, one control unit and one ballot unit during the mock voting itself. This delayed polling in three booths for more than half-an-hour.

Voters braved sweltering heat to exercise their franchise. Due to the heat, voting numbers were higher in the earlier hours of the day and ahead of closing time for polling at 6 pm. In some polling booths at Kundgol, there were voter queues even past 7 pm, according to the Commission.

The two constituencies are witnessing a pitched battle between the Congress and the BJP. While bypoll for Kundgol is being held following the demise of former minister C S Shivalli, the Chincholi seat was vacated after Umesh Jadhav quit the Congress to join the BJP and contest the Lok Sabha elections.

While Shivalli's wife, Kusumavathi Shivalli, is in the fray with a Congress ticket against BJPs S I Chikkanagouda, Jadhav's son Jadhav is pitted against Subash Rathod from Congress at Chincholi. The bypoll results will be out on May 23. The results are crucial for the stability of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government.

Owing to the wedding season, as many as six newly-wed couples drove straight to the polling stations and voted in various parts of Chincholi Assembly segment.

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