K’taka bypolls: Voting for 2 seats underway
Bengaluru: Voting for bypolls to two seats in Karnataka commenced on Tuesday morning amid tight security following Covid pandemic norms. Voting began at 7 a.m. and will continue till 6 p.m.
The electoral fortune of 31 candidates including four women, will be decided by around 6.76-lakh electorate, including 7,000 first-time voters.
Of the four women candidates, Congress has fielded political novice, H. Kusuma, widow of former IAS officer, D.K. Ravi and Janata Dal (S) has fielded Ammajamma, widow of B. Sathyanarayana in Sira, about 120 km northwest of Bengaluru. The Sira bypoll was necessitated after the death of B. Satyanarayana on August 5 after prolonged illness.
While the RR Nagar polls were forced after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate N. Muniratna resigned in July 2019 as a Congress legislator. The Congress has nominated its former minister T.B. Jayachandra, who lost to Satyanarayana in the May 2018 assembly elections, while Rajesh Gowda is the BJP contestant.
A two-time lawmaker, Muniratna defected to the ruling party in November 2019 after the Supreme Court allowed him to recontest from RR Nagar though he was disqualified for defying the party whip.
The JD-S has nominated V. Krishna Murthy as its candidate for a triangular contest though there are a dozen Independents at the hustings.
As both constituencies are having a large number of Vokkaligas, a political dominant community in the state, the Congress, BJP and JD-S fielded Vokkaliga candidates in Sira constituency, while in the case of RR Nagar, the BJP has chosen to fielded Muniratna who belongs to Kamma Naidu community, a listed backward class community in the state. But the Congress and JD(S) here too have fielded candidates from Vokkaliga community.
The voters will exercise their franchise at the 1,008 polling stations, 678 are in RR Nagar and 330 in Sira.
Of the two seats, Congress had won RR Nagar and Janata Dal (S) had won Sira, in Tumkuru in 2018 assembly polls.