The 15 bypoll bound constituencies in Karnataka recorded an average voting of 17.60% at 11 am, according to state election authorities.
The high profile three way contest between disqualified legislator N.Nagaraju (M.T.B), who defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), independent Sharath Kumar Bache Gowda and Padmavathi Suresh of the Congress in Hosakote recorded polling of 22.39% at 9 am.
Though all 15 constituencies have seen fierce contests, this particular seat, about 35 kms from Bengaluru, has seen splurging of money and goodies by its three candidates who have declared assets of ₹1200 crore (Nagaraju), ₹138 crore (Sharath Bache Gowda) and ₹424 crore (Padmavathi Sures).
A video of Nagaraju barging into one of the polling booths and demanding to see identification cards of election officials on Thursday led to some confusion and arguments between the candidate and agents.
Reports of minor scuffles and allegations of misconduct was reported from a few other constituencies. The bypolls were necessitated after 17 Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) resigned, allegedly at the behest of the BJP, from the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition government leading to its collapse.
The BJP fielded 13 out of the 15 rebels to help keep the four month old B.S.Yediyurappa-led government from meeting the same fate as the previous dispensation.
From giving lofty grants to dedicating the entire governments resources including the cabinet to help the disqualified legislators win, Yediyurappa has left little to chance to help keep his government afloat. Yediyurappa requires at least six seats currently to save his minority government.
Ranibennur constituency in Haveri district recorded 19.08% polling. The Congress candidate and former Karnataka assembly speaker K.B.Koliwad’s home was raided by Income Tax (I-T) department soon after campaigning ended, according to a report in The Hindu.
Athani in Belagavi district recorded polling of 23.1%, 23.87% in Yellapura and 20.01% in Krishnarajapete and 20.45% in Gokak.
In Bengaluru,Mahalakshmi layout constituency recorded 15.71 %, according to state election authorities.
Shivajinagar in Bengaluru recorded a low turnout of 9.2 %. Yeshwanthpura recorded 13.13% and K.R.Pura recorded 10.97 The BJP decided against fielding former Congress leader and minister R.Roshan Baig who had also resigned from the coalition government.
Gokak = 20.45%
Yellapur = 23.87%
Ranibennur = 19.08%
Vijayanagara = 20.03%
Chikkaballapur = 20.78%
K.R. Pura = 10.97%
Mahalakshmi Layout =15.71%
Shivajinagar = 9.2%