MEDIAByelections: polling largely peaceful in five constituencies
Average voting percentage 61.5
A few voters in Ramanagara constituency boycotted the polls
Two stray incidents of clashes reported in two villages in Channapatna
Bangalore: The byelections in five Assembly constituencies in the
State — Govindarajanagar (Bangalore Urban district), Ramanagara and
Channapatna (Ramanagara district), Kollegal (Chamarajanagar district)
and Chitapur (Gulbarga district) passed off peacefully with large
police presence in select pockets.
The election authorities here indicated that the polling percentage
in the five constituencies was around 61.5 and that there could be a
small addition since voters were standing in queue at some polling
stations even at the closing time of 5 p.m. The byelections were marked
by brisk polling through the day.
Byelections in the State were largely owing to some legislators
choosing to contest the recent Lok Sabha elections or resigning from
the Assembly to cross over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Following the defection of legislators from the Congress and the Janata
Dal (Secular) to the BJP in mid-2008.
State Chief Electoral Officer C.S. Suranjana said 61.6 per cent of the 10.10 lakh electorate voted in the byelections.
The percentage of polling in these five constituencies was 58.3
during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and 62.13 in the 2008 Assembly
elections. With no cognisable violations having been reported,
re-polling is out of question in any of the polling stations in the
According to information received from the Returning Officers,
Channapatna recorded the highest percentage of polling of 73 while
Govindarajanagar, which witnessed a fierce battle between Minister for
Muzrai and four-time MLA, V. Somanna of the BJP, and a new entrant to
electoral politics, Priya Krishna of the Congress, recorded a low
turnout of 48 per cent.
Even in the Lok Sabha elections all the Bangalore-based
constituencies recorded a low turnout of around 45 per cent and voter
apathy was cited as the reason then. The percentage of polling was 71
at Ramanagara, 64 at Kollegal and 59 at Chitapur. The latter two are
Mr. Suranjana said that polling officials replaced EVMs in six
places on complaints of malfunctioning at Channapatna ,
Govindarajangar, Kollegal and Chitapur. A few voters of
Chikkadevarahalli (booth No. 180) and Siddayanadoddi (booth No. 117) in
Ramanagara constituency boycotted the polls demanding separate polling
booths and alleging that successive governments had not taken up
development projects for their benefit.
At Channapatna despite the tension that had built up in the last
two days, polling was largely peaceful except for two stray incidents
of clashes in two villages which left four persons injured. At the end
of polling, a large number of Janata Dal (S) supporters staged a
protest when the police tried to take a son of the Janata Dal (S)
candidate into custody in connection with the assault on two Ministers
After campaigning ended on Sunday, Minister for Information
Technology Katta Subramanya Naidu was heckled and assaulted by Janata
Dal (S) activists when they reportedly found him distributing money to
garner votes for the BJP candidate. This had resulted in complaints and
In Gulbarga, following a complaint, officials stopped a bus
proceeding from Mumbai towards Chitapur, at Wadi in Gulbarga district.
It was alleged that the bus was carrying voters from Mumbai to
GULBARGA: An estimated 56 to 58 per cent of the electorate voted in
the Chitapur Assembly byelection in Gulbarga district on Tuesday. The
byelection was necessitated by the resignation of M. Mallikarjun Kharge
after he was elected to the Lok Sabha.
Minor clash between Congress and BJP workers and
complaints that political parties were carting bogus voters from
outside the State.
Polling was disrupted for about 30 minutes at a polling booth in
Chitapur town and at another in Ravoor because of malfunctioning
electronic voting machines (EVMs).
A complaint was filed with the Election Commission against the
BJP for indulging in unfair electoral practice, following the police
seizing vehicles suspected of carting bogus voters.
The polling, which began on a dull note in the morning, picked up in
the afternoon. After three hours of polling only 12 per cent of the
voters had cast their votes, but by 4 p.m. over 51 per cent of the
voters had exercised their franchise.
CHANNAPATNA: A woman member of Channapatna city municipal council
could not vote in the bypolls on Tuesday as the voters’ list had the
picture of a man in her place. An anguished Ms. Khamma Nijami,
councillor from Ward 23, told The Hindu that she had
not been allowed to vote though she had a valid Photo Identity Card
(XDH2312163). Another person, Syed Nur, alleged that he could not vote
as the voters’ list had the photo of his wife in his place.
A large number of people coming under the jurisdiction of polling
stations 86 and 87 in Petta area of Channapatna had to return without
casting their votes as their names had been deleted from the voters’
list. Councillor Sakamma alleged that 285 names had been deleted from
polling station No. 86.
Chamarajanagar: The voter turnout for the byelection in the Kollegal
(SC) Assembly constituency in Chamarajanagar district on Tuesday was 62
per cent, according to the election authorities.
People whose names were missing
in the electoral rolls were disappointed and they expressed anger at
the authorities concerned.
Polling, which was slow in the morning, picked up around noon. A
large number of people were found standing in queues at polling
stations in the afternoon.
Polling was delayed by about 30 minutes in Santhemaralli and Bheema
Nagar polling stations in Kollegal town owing to technical snags in the
electronic voting machines (EVM).
Bangalore: “I will win whatever you do. But if you don’t join my
side in the next two years, I will see that your own people will beat
you up.” Unaware of the presence of a group of journalists nearby, V.
Somanna, Muzrai and Housing Minister and a candidate in the bypolls at
Govindarajanagar, issued this threat to a gathering of people a little
away from the polling booth in Gangondanahalli even as polling was in
progress. The area, a Muslim pocket, saw some confusion over missing
names, with contrary claims on the number of names that were not in the
He had said, and added that he would “reveal
all” about his Congress rival Priya Krishna’s assets once the elections
Voting in Govindarajanagar constituency was brisk in the lower
middle class and revenue pockets in the morning and remained sluggish
in middle-class layouts, with no disruptions or violence. Polling in
many centres started only after a “mock” election was done before the
representatives of the 27 candidates to check the working of the
Electronic Voting Machines. There were some complaints about
names gone missing from the electoral rolls — especially in
Pattegarapalya, Gangondanahalli, Moodalapalya and Muneshwara Nagar.
Rehmatulla and Chand Pasha, near booth numbers 191 and 192 in
Gangondanahalli, claimed that their names had disappeared from the list
though they had voted in Lok Sabha elections. Niyamat Ullah Sharief,
president of the local mosque, said that some names had been wrongly
entered, though the accompanying photographs were correct. The name
Shamsheer, for instance, was printed as Shivaji Rao.
Voters in Raghavendra School in Anubhava Nagar said that the two
voting machines were kept in the wrong order till 10 a.m. The machine
from names one to 16 was kept after the second machine.
Swine flu effect
The effect of the swine flu was visible. Some polling officers wore
masks, an item evidently in short supply. An election officer at
Muneshwaranagar, said: “Our colleagues fought with each other to get
the mask. The masks allotted for six of us were taken away by others.”
BBMP polls: Govt struggles with ward reservation
S Kushala, TNN 18 August 2009, 04:13am IST
BANGALORE: For the state government which is rushing through the
preparations for civic elections, finalizing ward-wise reservation has
tricky task. After issuing the notification for the guidelines and
reservation roster, the urban development department officials are
coping with pressure from BJP MLAs and ministers.
According to government guidelines, 91 wards of the BBMP have been
reserved for SC/ST, backward classes along with one-third
representation for women. The remaining 107 wards are general, along
with women. The reservation is based on the 2001 census figures which
pegs Bangalore’s population at 58,40,155, SCs at 6,81,521 and STs at
Though there is no scientific formula to fix the reservation, normally
the `one-third’ basis is followed — on an average fixing every third
ward as general and in between wards for SC/ST and backward classes.
For instance, if ward 1 Kempegowda is General, ward 4 Yelahanka Town
could be General or General Woman. Wards will have SC/ST backward
classes reservations based on their caste composition.
Surprisingly, several lists containing wards and reservations are
being floated. So much so that a list allegedly released by the urban
development department is also doing the rounds in political circles.
The government, of course, maintains that the reservation list is yet
to be finalized.
Normally, ruling party members have a say in making the reservation
list. The city BJP MLAs and ministers submitted their priority lists
to the chief minister who holds the Bangalore portfolio. The list is
typically drawn up after identifying potential winners and matching
their caste to the appropriate ward.
The candidate could be a former corporator who is popular in the area,
a social activist, a party loyalist and worker, businessman or a
real-estate player close to the MLA who has both money and muscle
“Interested candidates have already started tapping the doors of
partymen in power. There is a lot of money involved in the exercise.
This civic election may see a lot of people from real estate
contesting from new wards in the periphery,'’ sources explained.
Once the urban development department finalizes the list, the draft
will be put up for notification. At this point, the list typically is
challenged in the courts.