By-election: Polling brisk in Punjab, peaceful in Karnataka

Chandigarh, Aug 21 :

Tens of thousands voted in Punjab’s Talwandi Sabo and Patiala assembly constituencies Thursday, with officials recording 45 and 35 percent polling respectively till 1 p.m.

Voters queued up to exercise their franchise from early in the day in the by-election. Fifteen candidates are in the fray.

file pic
file pic

The main contest is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which won four seats in the Lok Sabha battle in Punjab, is also in the fray.

Former union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur is contesting in Patiala. The seat was vacated by her husband and former chief minister Amarinder Singh after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Amritsar in May.

Preneet Kaur has been a three-time Lok Sabha MP from Patiala. She lost the Lok Sabha election this year to Dharamvira Gandhi of the AAP.

Amarinder Singh is now the deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

He had defeated BJP leader Arun Jaitley, now the union finance and defence minister, in a bitter contest for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by over one lakh votes.

The by-poll in Talwandi Sabo is being held as Congress legislator Jeet Mohinder Singh quit the party and joined the Akali Dal.

The Akali Dal has named Jeet Mohinder Singh as its candidate for the Talwandi Sabo seat in Bathinda district. He is pitted against Harminder Singh Jassi of the Congress.

Counting of votes will take place Aug 25.

Karnataka Bypoll

Polling was peaceful Thursday in three assembly constituencies in Karnataka where by-polls are being held to fill the vacant seats in the state legislature.

“Voting is underway in the three assembly constituencies of Bellary Rural (Reserved), Chikkodi-Sadalga and Shikaripura amid tight security,” an official told IANS.

Though polling began on a dull note at 7 a.m., it picked up later with 15-20 percent of the electorate exercising their franchise during the first four hours.

Counting of votes will take place Aug 25. 

Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are contesting for all the three seats, while the regional Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) has decided to stay away.

The vacancy in Bellary Rural (ST), about 330 km form Bangalore, was caused by the resignation of former BJP minister B.R. Sriramulu following his victory from the Bellary parliamentary (ST) constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Congress candidate N.Y. Gopalakrishna and BJP candidate Oblesh are the main contestants for the seat.

Gopalakrishna is a former lawmaker from Molakalmuru assembly segment in the neighbouring Chitradurga district.

Similarly, the resignation of Congress minister Prakash Hukkeri from Chikkodi-Sadalga, about 570 km from Bangalore, after he was elected from the Chikkodi Lok Sabha seat necessitated the by-poll.

The ruling Congress has fielded Hukkeri’s son Ganesh against BJP’s Mahantesh Kavatagimath.

In Shikaripura, about 350 km from Bangalore, BJP’s B.Y. Raghavendra takes on Shantahaveerappa Gowda of the Congress and others.

Shikaripura by-poll in Malnad region is being held to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former chief minister B.S. Yeddurappa following his election from the Shimoga parliamentary constituency.

Yeddyurappa’s son Raghavendra represented the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency in the previous term (2009-14).


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