Karnataka bypoll: Shimoga set for photo finish

Karnataka bypoll: Shimoga set for photo finish

The Shimoga Lok Sabha by-poll looks set to go down to the wire with both BJP and JD(S) candidates leading against each other for a short while.

Initially, it was BJP's B Y Raghavendra who was leading before ceding it to the JD(S)'s Madhu Bangarappa. After some time, Raghavendra again went ahead but not for long.

Now, Madhu is leading by 471 votes over the BJP. So far, Raghavendra has garnered 46,056 votes, while Madhu has obtained 49,000 votes.

Shimoga battle is a matter of prestige for BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, as losing in his bastion would severely dent his image ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

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 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.