Modest voter turnout in K'taka by-polls

Bengaluru, Apr 17 (IANS): The by-polls to the three seats - one Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies - in Karnataka was peaceful on Saturday with a modest voter turnout amid the Covid-19 scare.

According to the figures available from the office of the Election Commission, the voter turnout in Belgaum Lok Sabha seat was reported to be 54.73 per cent while 50.57 per cent in Basavakalyan. However, the Maski Assembly segments witnessed the highest voter turnout with 70.48 per cent.

Maski has marginally bettered its turnout compared to 2018 when it registered 68.91 per cent while Basavakalyan saw a dip in the voter turnout by around 7 per cent as it had registered 66.56 per cent in 2018.

In all, 30 candidates, including 10 in Belgaum, 12 in Basavakalyan and Eight in Maski (Reserved) are in the fray. Of them, 26 are men and four are women.

There are five Independents each in Belgaum and Maski and four in Basavakalyan.

Of the 22,59,778 voters in the three seats, 18,13,567 are in Belgaum, 2,39,782 in Basavakalyan and 2,06,429 in Maski. The votes will be counted on May 2.

By-polls to Belgaum Lok Sabha and Basavakalyan Assembly seats are necessitated following the death of Union Minister Suresh Angadi and MLA B. Narayan Rao respectively due to Covid-19 in September 2020.

Maski assembly seat fell vacant following the disqualification of MLA Prathapgouda Patil who is one among the 17 legislators who had defected from JD(S)-Congress coalition government in 2019 and helped Yediyurappa come to power. Patil had won in 2018 from Congress and is now with the BJP.

In all three constituencies, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress are fighting to win all three seats, as the Congress had won Maski and Basavakalyan assembly seats in 2018 Assembly polls, while BJP had won Belgaum Lok Sabha seat in 2019 General elections.

The ruling BJP exuded confidence that the people will vote in favour of the party for stability and development, the Congress is optimistic that the voters will defeat the defector and misgovernance given by the BJP since 2019.



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