Mysuru: People turned out in large numbers to vote in the Hunsur byelection in Mysuru district and the KR Pete bypoll in Mandya district with a turnout of 74.47 per cent reported in the former constituency and 80 per cent in the latter by 5pm on Thursday.
Polling was largely peaceful barring a minor incident in Hunsur taluk. according to the IGP, Southern Range, Mr Vipul Kumar.
Responding to the large turnout, the Congress party claimed it was an indication of people's support for it in both assembly segments. Congress leader Seetharam B.V. attributed the high polling percentage to “minority and backward class people voting for the party” in the Hunsur constituency.
He maintained that Janata Dal (Secular) supporters too had backed the Congress in Hunsur to defeat their party defector, A H Vishwanath, contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket in the constituency.
In K R Pete constituency too the tide was against the defecting MLA, whose desertion had led to the bypoll, he contended.
While supporters of miffed Janata Dal (Secular) leader G.T. Deve Gowda are said to have voted for different parties, his son, Harish Gowda claimed his father had stayed neutral in the bypoll as promised.
As money reportedly flew in the constituencies with all parties allegedly paying upto Rs 2000 per voter, women in Kalkunike layout in Hunsur taluk drove away members of a party ,who arrived to distribute sarees among them, saying, “You try to buy our vote by giving a saree worth Rs 100, and then don't turn up in the constituency for the next five years.”
Meanwhile, a small disturbance was reported at a polling booth in Hosa Ramenahalli village, when the police tried to stop HD Kote Congress MLA, Anil Chikkamadu from interacting with his party workers outside it after casting his vote. As the angry legislator accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of misusing the police machinery, Mysuru ASP, Sneha and DySP, Sunder Raj intervened to pacify him.
Mysuru District Congress president, B J Vijayshankar is said to have brought the matter to the notice of former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, who spoke to Ms Sneha over the phone and was reportedly assured that action would be taken against the accused policemen if the MLA gave a written complaint....