Vote counting day for Assembly, LS by-polls

Vote counting day for Assembly, LS by-polls

Counting of votes for the by-polls to three Lok Sabha seats and two Assembly constituencies will be taken up on Tuesday. The results are sure to set the political mood in the state for the coming months.

The counting will start at 8 am and all results are expected to be out by 10 am.

The by-polls, held on November 3, witnessed an average voters’ turnout of 66 %. While voters in the Jamkhandi and Ramanagara Assembly constituencies came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, those in the Lok Sabha segments of Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya showed apathy.

Results of the by-polls are seen as a litmus test for the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance and as a precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

While the Congress fielded its candidates in Jamkhandi and Bellary, JD(S) contested in Shimoga, Ramanagara and Mandya as part of their electoral understanding.

The outcome of the by-polls is expected to have a bearing on the alliance between the JD(S) and the Congress and also be a factor in determining the future bargaining power of the two parties. The BJP, which has been dubbing the alliance as “unholy,” has predicted its fall soon after the by-polls.

The most keenly watched constituencies will be Bellary and Shimoga Lok Sabha segments where the alliance partners and the BJP have taken winning the elections as a matter of prestige.

The by-poll results will decide the fate of J Shantha of the BJP and Congress MLC V S Ugrappa in Bellary. Shimoga is witnessing an unprecedented fight among the sons of three former chief ministers. JD(S) fielded former chief minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa to take on BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa’s son, B Y Raghavendra.

Mahima Patel, son of another former chief minister J H Patel, contested as the JD(U) candidate.

Anand Nyamagouda (Congress), the son of the late MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, is pitted against former legislator
Srikanth Kulkarni of the BJP in Jamkhandi.

The by-poll results will also decide the fate of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha, who contested from Ramanagara. Here, BJP candidate L Chandrashekar withdrew himself from the race just two days ahead of the polls, leaving the saffron fold red-faced. Down South, in Mandya, BJP candidate Siddaramaiah contested against former legislator L R Shivarame Gowda of the JD(S).

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