Polling held for second phase of LS elections in 14 constituencies in Karnataka

Bengaluru, May 7 (PTI) Polling was held on Tuesday for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, in 14 constituencies, as the Congress and BJP locked horns again on the electoral battleground in less than a fortnight after the first phase.

“No violence was reported. The second phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state was peaceful,” Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena told PTI.

The elections witnessed a straight fight between the ruling Congress and the BJP in these segments. The JD(S) is not contesting in these seats and is supporting its NDA alliance partner — the BJP.

The segments in the northern districts where elections were held today are Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Bellary, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere and Shimoga.

The state has a total of 28 Lok Sabha constituencies. The first phase of polling in the other 14 seats in the southern and coastal districts was held on April 26.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had swept all these 14 seats, defeating Congress and JD(S), which were together in a coalition government then.

Having scored a thumping victory in the assembly elections, the Congress appeared determined to put up a strong show in the Lok Sabha polls, while Karnataka is the most important state for the BJP in South India as it’s only here that it has held power in the past.

According to poll officials, 66.05 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the same 14 segments in the first phase had recorded a turnout of 68.43 per cent.

Out of the 14 segments that went to the polls today, the highest turnout of 72.75 per cent was recorded in Chikkodi, followed by Shimoga 72.07 per cent, and the least 57.20 per cent in Gulbarga, as per the 5 pm figures.

A total of 227 candidates — 206 men and 21 women — were in the fray for the second phase covering the northern districts, where more than 2.59 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in 28,269 polling stations.

Davangere had the highest number of 30 candidates, followed by 23 in Shimoga, while Raichur fielded the fewest — eight.

Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and Bhagwanth Khuba (Bidar), former chief ministers Basavaraj Bommai (Haveri) and Jagadish Shettar (Balgaum), — all from BJP; Congress’s Geetha Shivrajkumar (Shimoga) — wife of actor Shivrajkumar and daughter of former CM S Bangarappa, and AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge’s son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani (Gulbarga) were among the prominent candidates in the fray.

Also in the contest were MP and veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra, party’s suspended leader and former Deputy CM K S Eshwarappa — both from Shimoga, former speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and ex-minister B Sreeramulu of BJP from Uttara Kannada and Bellary, respectively, and retired IAS officer G Kumar Naik of Congress from Raichur.

The stakes are high for several ministers in this phase with their children in the fray.

Sons of Ministers Laxmi Hebbalkar and Eshwar Khandre — Mrinal Ravindra Hebbalkar and Sagar Khandre — are contesting from Belgaum and Bidar respectively, while the daughters of Ministers Satish Jarkiholi and Shivanand Patil — Priyanka Jarkiholi and Samyukta Patil — are in contention in Chikkodi and Bagalkot respectively.

Prabha Mallikarjun, wife of Minister S S Mallikarjun and daughter-in-law of veteran Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, is in the race from Davangere.

Yediyurappa was among the early voters to cast ballots on Tuesday, accompanied by his sons Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra, who is the BJP state president.

“Out of 28 Lok Sabha seats, according to me we (BJP) are going to win at least 25 to 26 seats. The atmosphere is very good. Wherever we go people say Modi, Modi, it is going to have its own effect,” Yediyurappa said after voting.

The Lok Sabha polls results will have its impact on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, Vijayendra said, adding, “Congress is in an illusion of winning more than 20 seats, based on their guarantees. They will face a shock on the day of counting on June 4. People have more trust in Modi’s permanent guarantees than in Congress’s temporary guarantees.”

Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge cast his vote in Kalaburagi accompanied by his wife Radhabai Kharge.

The Congress will win in Karnataka with a “thumping majority”, and there is no doubt about it, Kharge said. “Things are good, good reports are coming from everywhere. Alliance partners (INDI Alliance) are getting strength in this third phase (nationally). Definitely in this phase too we will get good support from the people.”

Meanwhile, Shorapur Assembly segment in Yadgir district which went for a bypoll today recorded 66.72 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm.

This bypoll was necessitated, after the seat fell vacant due to the death of Congress MLA Raja Venkatappa Naik last month.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Another JMM MLA files nomination as Independent candidate for J’khand LS polls

Next Post

Pakistan’s ex-PM Nawaz Sharif files plea for acquittal in corruption case

Read next