Record polling in Karnataka
A record 80 percent turnout in by polls to Karnataka's Gundlupet and 76 per cent in Nanjangud (reserved) assembly constituencies on Sunday.
"About 80 per cent of voters exercised franchise in Gundlupet and 76 per cent in Nanjangud by 5 p.m. The percentage is likely to go up, as many voters were in queues in some booths when poll timing ended officially at 5 p.m.," state Chief Electoral Officer A.K. Jha told reporters here.
In the April 2013 assembly elections, polling percentage in Gundlupet was also a record 87.05 and in Nanjungud, it was 77.59.
Barring stray incidents like voting being held up due to glitches in the EVMs in some booths and poll boycott in a village in the Nanjangud segment, the bye-polls were peaceful in both the segments amid tight security.
Though the polling process began at 7 a.m., voting only gathered momentum during the day and turned brisk after 3 p.m. despite the weather being hot and humid.
A 94-year-old woman died at her home on return from a polling booth after casting her vote at Hangala village in the Nanjangud segment, said police.
In another incident, about 700 voters boycotted polling in protest against lack of basic amenities in their village (Mahadevanagara) in Nanjangud.
"The electorate were not willing to exercise their franchise in protest. Some of them, however, went to a polling booth later and voted," said Jha.
The bye-poll for Nanjangud (Scheduled Caste) in Myusuru district has been necessitated by the resignation of former Congress lawmaker and Revenue Minister Srinviasa Prasad, who is re-contesting on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.
The ruling Congress has fielded K. Keshavamurthy, who lost to Prasad in the 2013 assembly elections as a Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) nominee. Ten more candidates, including Independents are also in the fray.