Low voter turnout may give Congress advantage in Hyderabad-Karnataka

Despite the scorching heat, people queued up before the polling booths to vote in the poll.

Belagavi: Barring some incidents of the Electronic Voting Machines developing snags and delaying voting in some booths and minor skirmishes between political workers, voting was largely peaceful in the four districts of Hyderabad Karnataka.

Despite the scorching heat, people queued up before the polling booths to vote in the poll. Though brisk in the morning, voting slowed down by noon and recorded a moderate 59 per cent till 5pm.

Gusty winds accompanied by rain affected voting for about an hour around 4 pm , leading to an extension of the polling time by half an hour to 6.30pm, which, however, did not improve the voting percentage significantly.

The turnout is much lesser than in 2013 election when it was over around 65 per cent in the region. The Congress had then won 16 of the 26 seats in the four districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur and the BJP, which had split into KJP and BSR parties, could manage to win only four seats.

Political observers say the low turnout may help the Congress this time. “Whenever there has been a higher percentage of voting , the result has gone in favour of the BJP. Despite consolidation of BJP votes this time, the possibility of the saffron party doing better than in the last elections is bleak as overall there is a decline in voting percentage, which is advantageous to the Congress ,” they argued. Meanwhile, Lingausugur tahasildar , who tried to force the protesting people of Kadadaragaddi, an islet in the Krishna river, to vote, was ghearoed and confined to a house. The people placed thorny bushes and boulders on the path leading to the islet to prevent the authorities from reaching it . Agitating for a bridge to the islet to improve their connectivity, they had given a call for a boycott of the poll and when tahasildar Bhagwan visited the islet to persuade two youth to cast their vote, they were enraged. Locking the tahsildar’s vehicle they prevented him from leaving.

Meawhile, the police had to do a mild lathicharge to disperse JD(S) and Congress party workers in Sindhanur town who quarrelled over some young Congressmen trying to persuade voters to vote in their favour.

In other places, polling was suspended for about an hour in a few booths of the Raichur Rural constituency following a technical snag in the EVMs. The voting began in Mansalapur and Pothgal villages after the authorities replaced 15 VV Pads and seven control units.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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