K’taka by-polls: Sira registers 44%, RR Nagar 26.5% turnout till 1 p.m. (Ld)

Bengaluru, Nov 3 : The by-polls to twin seats in Karnataka saw voter turnout of 44.13 per cent in Sira constituency and 26.58 per cent in Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly seat till 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Voting in the by-polls to these seats in Karnataka commenced at 7 a.m. on Tuesday amid tight security and Covid pandemic fears and it will continue till 6 p.m.

Speaking to reporters, BJP candidate N. Muniratna said that there was not much difference between beggars and politicians. “In every election, we politicians too are at the mercy of the electorate, like beggars who live and thrive on the mercy of people,” he said cryptically.

In RR Nagar at some places reports emerged of Congress and BJP workers exchanging heated words over attire. In one polling station in Nagarabhavi, Congress workers reportedly objected to BJP workers clad in saffron, alleging that they were trying to influence voters.

In response, the BJP workers retorted saying that the Election Commission had not imposed “model code of dressing” yet but they had imposed the Model Code of Conduct.

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However, the rising acrimony between the party workers was calmed down with timely intervention by the police.

Congress party candidate H. Kusuma, prior to casting her vote, went to the Sri Adichunchangiri math in Vijaynagara, which is the cultural and spiritual centre of the politically dominant Vokkaliga community in Bengaluru.

She performed puja to the Vokkaliga community’s deity Kalabhairaveshwara as per the “Nath” sub-sect traditions.

The electoral fortunes of 31 candidates including four women, will be decided by around 6.76 lakh voters, including 3,26,114 women. This tally also includes 7,000 first-timers who are eligible to vote in the twin by-elections. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

Of the four women candidates, Congress has fielded political novice H. Kusuma, widow of former IAS officer, D. K. Ravi while the Janata Dal (S) has fielded Ammajamma, widow of B. Sathyanarayana in Sira, about 120 km northwest of Bengaluru. The Sira by-poll was necessitated by the death of B. Satyanarayana on August 5 after prolonged illness.

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The voters will exercise their franchise at 1,008 polling stations, 678 in RR Nagara and 330 in Sira.

Of the two seats, the Congress had won RR Nagara and the Janata Dal (S) had won Sira in the 2018 assembly polls.

In the 224-seat Assembly, the BJP has 116 MLAs minus the Speaker, Congress 67 and JD(S) 33, while BSP has 1 MLA and there are two Independents.

Four seats are vacant, of which elections to RR Nagara and Sira, are taking place on November 3.

Elections for the Maski and Basavakalyan seats will be held later.

While the election in Maski is caught in a legal tangle, the Basavakalyan seat fell vacant due to the recent death of Congress MLA B. Narayan Rao due to Covid.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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