• Hithesh Jain

High Tension ByPolls concludes in Karnataka

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

Hithesh A Jain

4th November 2020

Karnataka- With the state leading up to the bypolls in two of its assembly constituencies, Karnataka saw enormous political tension and hype. Thebypolls had initially been necessitated due to the death of the legislator B Sathyanarayan of the Janta Dal (Secular) party in Sira and the resignation of Congress legislator Muniratna, who is now contesting on BJP ticket.There were 31 candidates in the fray in the bypolls- 15 in Sira and 16 in RR Nagar. Voting took place in 678 polling stations in RR Nagar and 330 others in Sira on Tuesday.

As per reports from the Hindu, the Rajarajeshwari Nagar by-poll was marked by low voter turnout with a polling percentage of only 39.15, whereas in Sira, 77.34 percent voting took place till 5 pm, according to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer. The two constituencies with a voting population of 6,78,012, including 3,26,114 women and initially till 9 am the voting did not pick up in both the constituencies as about 8 percent voting took place but later picked up.

In the RR Nagar constituency in Bengaluru, Munirathna is the BJP candidate this time; the Congress has fielded H Kusuma, who was the wife of the IAS officer D K Ravi who died in 2015, and she is also contesting her first-ever election. She is also the daughter of JDS leader Hanumantharayappa. While, V Krishnamurthy— a local leader, has been fielded by the JDS. In the assembly constituency of Sira in Tumakuru, senior leader and former minister T B Jayachandra is contesting for the Congress, expecting a seventh chance to be voted as a legislator. Meanwhile, the son of former Congress MP C P Mudalagiriyappa— CM Rajesh Gowda, has the BJP ticket while JD(S) has fielded Ammajamma—the wife of the late MLA Sathyanarayana as their candidate.

Election commission officials leave voting center after voting day on Tuesday(Source- The Indian Express)

The Times of India reported that though the results of the bypolls have no bearing to the ruling party of the state, BJP, it has become a battle of prestige for the parties. The by-polls are also DK Shivakumar’s first election after taking over as President of Congress Party in Karnataka, making the stakes higher for him. The JD(S) will want to retain the Sira seat and send a significant signal on their sway over Vokkaliga voters, who constitute a sizeable number in the Old Mysuru region. However, on the other hand,Shivkumar will also be eyeing the same constituency, resulting in shadow boxing with JD(S) leaders over the Vokkaliga leadership. The BJP is trying to penetrate the Vokkaliga heartland in Sira and R.R. Nagar, an urban constituency, to continue its dominance. The Election Commission has made the elections safer, making elaborate arrangements considering that the polls are happening during the Covid19 pandemic. The Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike had made separate arrangements for coronavirus- infected people to cast their votes in RR Nagar, and extensive security arrangements were also made.

However, with the amount of campaigning that persisted over the weeks and the enormous tension leading up to the polling, especially in RR Nagar, the turnout seemed very meager. However, it remains to be seen on 10th November, when the results are scheduled to be which party will come on top in what looked like a petty battle for prestige.

(Sources- The Hindu, The Times of India)

Edited by- Sravanthi Neralla

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