Karnataka bypolls: Election commission gears up for Sira and RR Nagar bypolls on Tuesday


Team Udayavani, Nov 2, 2020, 3:41 PM IST

Bengaluru: The bypolls to two assembly constituencies in Karnataka — Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru Urban district and Sira in Tumakuru district– will take place on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Voting will be held from 7 am to 6 pm in the two constituencies with a voting population of 6,78,012 including 3,26,114 women. The death of Sira MLA B Satyanarayana, who was from the JD(S) and resignation of RR Nagar Congress MLA Munirathna from the assembly last year,led to the bye-elections.

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

According to sources, in view of the pandemic, thermal screening will be done and hand sanitisers will be available at the polling stations.

Security will be tightened around the polling stations.

According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, who is the returning officer of the bye-election at RR Nagar, separate arrangements have been made for COVID-19 infected people to cast their votes in the evening.

There are a total 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.

The RR Nagar has become a prestigious issue for both the Congress and the BJP.

The BJP had earlier held this constituency which Munirathna had wrested as the Congress MLA.

This constituency is part of the Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency which is represented by D K Suresh, who is the brother of Congress state chief D K Shivakumar.

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.

The BJP has never won the election from there, but this time, the party would try to turn the tables on the Congress and the JD(S).

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa”s son and BJP state vice president B Y Vijayendra led the election campaign here.

During campaigning, the Chief Minister had said that the BJP had lost its deposit here but the voters have made up their mind this time to give his party a chance.

If that was to happen, it will be another dent in the JD(S) citadel.

BJP had already wrested the KR Pet assembly constituency in Mandya from the JD(S), which was its stranglehold.

A year ago during the Lok Sabha election, a BJP backed independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh, a multilingual film actress, had won the election from Mandya defeating JD(S) H D Deve Gowda”s grandson and H D Kumaraswamy”s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

The JD(S) and the Congress have left no stone unturned to prevent the BJP from making any gains here.

In the 224-seat assembly, BJP has 116 MLAs minus the Speaker, Congress 67 and JD(S) 33, BSP 1 and there are two independents.

There is also a nominated member.

Four seats are vacant, of which elections to R R Nagar and Sira, will take place on Tuesday.

Elections to Maski and Basava Kalyan will be held later.

While the election in Maski is caught in a legal tangle, the Basava Kalyan seat fell vacant due to the death of Congress MLA B Narayan Rao.

The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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