Being seen as a litmus test for the ruling Congress- JDS combine, the by-polls for Mandya, Ramanagara and Shivamogga Lok Sabha seats and Jamkhandi and Ballari Assembly seats began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm.
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According to the numbers published by the chief electoral officer, the Parliamentary constituencies of Bellary had recorded 4.40 percent voter turnout till 9 am.
Shimoga recorded 8.61 percent and Mandya 4.18 percent. Parliamentary assembly constituencies Jamkhandi recorded 9 percentage voter turnout till 9 am while Ramanagara stood at 8 per cent.
A total of 54,54,275 voters qualify for casting their vote on 6,450 polling stations. Citing officials of the state chief electoral office, PTI reported that 1502 polling stations had been declared sensitive and complex security arrangements were put in place to handle any untoward incident.
The Congress-JDS, that formed a government in the state following Assembly elections, which gave a fractured mandate and resulted in a hung house, is fighting the surveys together against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Among notable applicants is Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who is contesting from Ramanagara constituency.
Back in Jamkhandi, BJP’s Srikant Kulkarni will be fighting against Congress’ Anand Nyamagowda, son of former MLA Siddu Nyamagouda.
In Shivamogga, say BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra is contesting against S Bangarappa’s son, Madhu Bangarappa, of the JDS.
BJP leader Sriramulu’s sister, J Shantha, is fighting against V S Ugrappa of the Congress in Ballari while in the Vakkaliga dominated Mandya JDS’ Shivarame Gowda is contesting against Dr. Siddaramaiah, a new face pitted by the BJP. The by-polls were necessitated because of resignations of MPs in the Lok Sabha constituencies resigned throughout the assembly polls in May.
While Jamkhandi seat fell vacant after the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, Ramanagara seat was given up by Kumaraswamy because he preferred to go with Chennapatna.