High turnout in Assembly seats; tepid for LS

Voters in the Jamkhandi and Ramanagara Assembly constituencies came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, while those in the Lok Sabha segments of Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya showed apathy as the polling for the byelections ended on Saturday. DH file photo

Voters in the Jamkhandi and Ramanagara Assembly constituencies came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, while those in the Lok Sabha segments of Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya showed apathy as the polling for the byelections ended on Saturday.

Results of the byelections, which are widely seen as a litmus test for the Congress-JD(S) alliance and as a precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, will be out on November 6.

The Jamkhandi Assembly segment clocked a record voter turnout of 81.58%, according to the final tally put out by the Election Commission. In the May 2018 Assembly election, Jamkhandi had registered a voter turnout of 74.98%.

The Ramanagara Assembly constituency saw a voter turnout of 73.71%. However, this is lower compared with the 82.55% voter turnout the constituency saw in the May polls.

The Lok Sabha seats of Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya fared poorly, indicating voter apathy. Bellary ended with a voter turnout of 63.85%, Shimoga with 61% and Mandya with the lowest of 53.93%. The term of these MPs will be less than six months.

Voting across the five constituencies was peaceful, barring a few instances of malfunctioning electronic voting machines that were later replaced.

The high voter turnout in Jamkhandi could be a significant indicator. “The way people have been voting in north Karnataka, there’s growth for the BJP,” political analyst Harish Ramaswamy said. He added that the low voter turnout in the Lok Sabha segments was a clear indication of disappointment toward the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. “Having said that, it would be interesting to look at the percentage of votes that were None of the Above (NOTA).”

The BJP, on Saturday, filed a complaint with the Jamkhandi electoral officer, saying that the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police were biased against the party.

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High turnout in Assembly seats; tepid for LS

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