Mandya bypolls witness a low turnout of 52.75%

With just 52.75% voters exercising their franchise, Mandya Lok Sabha byelection witnessed its lowest turnout ever. The counting of votes will be held on November 6. File photo

With just 52.75% voters exercising their franchise, Mandya Lok Sabha byelection witnessed its lowest turnout ever. The counting of votes will be held on November 6.

The bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of District in-charge Minister C S Puttaraju, following his election in the Assembly poll from Melkote segment.

The polling stations across the constituency evoked poor response since morning itself. The voting percentage was below four at 9 am. The percentage was 37.7 at 3 pm. The constituency witnessed 48.6% turn out at 5 pm. However, polling picked up during the last two hours. Due to a lesser turnout, political party agents were not present in some of the polling stations.

According to sources, the JD(S)-Congress coalition resulted in low turnout of voters. While Lok Sabha elections held in 2014 witnessed a 71.45% turnout, the previous byelection for Lok Sabha held in 2013 had witnessed a 58.24% turnout. The bypoll was necessitated after then MP N Cheluvarayaswamy resigned. Congress candidate Ramya had won the polls against JD(S) candidate C S Puttaraju.

Of the eight Assembly constituencies under Mandya Lok Sabha segment, Maddur witnessed the highest turnout with 57.25 % while KR Nagar Assembly segment in Mysuru district witnessed the lowest of 46.87%.

While JD(S)-Congress candidate L R Shivaramegowda cast his vote in Nagamangala, BJP candidate Siddaramaiah exercised his franchise at his native village Yettagadahalli. Congress leader and former minister M H Ambarish and Transport Minister D C Thammanna cast their votes at their native Doddarasinakere, in Maddur taluk. District Minister C S Puttaraju, his wife and son cast their votes in Chinakurali, Pandavapura taluk. Congress leader N Cheluvarayaswamy exercised his franchise at Ijjalagatta while Nagamangala MLA Sureshgowda and his wife cast their vote at a polling centre at Nagamangala Taluk Panchayat office.

However, All India Congress Committee social media head, also former MP, Ramya did not cast her vote this time too. Ramya had faced severe objection from the opposition party workers during the recently concluded Assembly polls as she did not cast her vote then also.

The voting process was delayed for a while in several polling stations due to technical glitches in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT). The polling was delayed for an hour at K Kodihalli polling station in Maddur taluk. Voting was delayed by 15 minutes in a booth in Nagamangala town. Similarly, polling was delayed at Ambarahalli and Madarahalli due to a problem in the VVPAT.

Residents of Kudregundi colony in Maddur taluk, had threatened to boycott the polls as the officials concerned failed to provide them land documents sanctioned for SC community beneficiaries. However, the Tahsildar managed to convince them to vote.

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Mandya bypolls witness a low turnout of 52.75%

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