Karnataka assembly bypolls: 39.15 per cent polling at RR

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Nagar, 77.34 per cent at Sira till 5 pm Bengaluru, Nov 3 (PTI) Polling for the Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Sira assembly by-elections in Karnataka held under the shadow of coronavirus concluded peacefully without any major glitches on Tuesday.

Poor voter turnout marked the Rajarajeshwari Nagar bypoll with a polling percentage of only 39.15, whereas in Sira 77.34 per cent voting took place till 5 pm, according to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar.

The death of Sira JD(S) MLA B Satyanarayana in August and resignation of RR Nagar Congress MLA Munirathna from the assembly last year led to the bypolls.

Till 9 am the voting did not pick up in both the constituencies as about 8 per cent voting took place.

It picked up in Sira at 11 am with 23.63 per cent but there was slight increase in RR Nagar with 14.44 per cent polling.

By 3 pm, the voting percentage was 62.1 in Sira and 32.41 in RR Nagar.

According to information received from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, polling started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm in the two constituencies with a voting population of 6,78,012, including 3,26,114 women.

There are 1,008 polling stations, comprising 678 in RR Nagar and 330 in Sira, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said in a statement.

In view of the pandemic, standard protocol of face masks was made mandatory for the voters as well as the polling staff.

Arrangements were made for thermal screening and hand sanitisers made available at the polling stations.

Security was beefed up around the polling stations.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city corporation) had made separate arrangements for coronavirus- infected people to cast their votes in RR Nagar.

There are 31 candidates in the fray in the bypolls -- 15 in Sira and 16 in RR Nagar, including those from the Congress, BJP and the JD(S).

In RR Nagar, the BJP has fielded former Congress MLA Munirathna as its candidate whereas the Congress has given ticket to H Kusuma, wife of former IAS officer late D K Ravi in the seat traditionally held by the party.

The JD(S) has fielded V Krishnamurthy.

In Sira, the BJP, Congress and JD(S) have fielded radiologist Dr Rakesh Gowda, former minister T B Jayachandra and former (JD-S) MLA B Satyanarayana's wife Ammajamma respectively.

In the 224-seat assembly, BJP has 116 MLAs minus the speaker, Congress 67 and JD(S) 33, BSP one and there are two independents.

There is also a nominated member.PTI GMS BN WELCOME BN WELCOME