Around 30 percent voting complete in Karnataka assembly bypoll


Koppal (Karnataka) : Around 30 percent of the over 185,000 eligible voters had cast their ballots by 1 p.m. Monday in the bypoll for the Karnataka assembly from this north Karnataka town.

Support TwoCircles

“The voting has been peaceful, though at some places people with voter identity cards protested as their names were not in the electoral lists,” a spokesperson of the state election commission told reporters here.

The contest is mainly among Karadi Sanganna of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Basavaraj Hitnal of the Congress, and Pradeep Patil of the Janata Dal-Secular. Eleven Independent candidates are also in the fray.

The bypoll was necessitated by Karadi Sanganna, elected on a JD-S ticket in 2008 polls, resigning from the assembly and his party to join the BJP in March this year.

Koppal is around 300 km from Bangalore.

The result, which will be announced Sep 29, will not affect the second BJP government headed by D.V. Sadananda Gowda as the ruling party has 118 members and the support of one Independent member in the 225-member house that includes one-nominated member.

However, the outcome will have a bearing on the internal politics of the state BJP.

The ruling party went to the bypoll with former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa loyalists using it to project him as the ‘undisuputed’ leader, though he was forced out of office July 31 over the illegal mining scam.

The dispute was settled by the party central leaders who directed the state unit to “fight the bypoll under collective leadership”.

For the Congress, winning the seat would be a morale booster as it has fared poorly in all elections since it lost power in the state in 2004.

Victory for the JD-S would give the struggling party of former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda hope that it remains a force in the state politics, in spite of graft cases against his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his legislator wife Anita.