Karnataka: 4.4 lakh voters to seal fate of 19 bypoll candidates today | Bengaluru News – Times of India
The bypolls have been necessitated as the seats fell vacant following the deaths of Sindgi JD(S) legislator MC Managuli and BJP’s CM Udasi from Hangal.
The high-voltage campaign saw leaders from all three major parties making personal attacks against each other. While chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor BS Yediyurappa launched a joint campaign, the Congress’ canvassing was led by opposition leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president DK Shivakumar. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and former CM HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) spent more time campaigning in Sindgi.
This election is significant for the three parties to assess and assert their influence ahead of the 2023 general elections, but more importantly for Bommai to prove that he can step into the big shoes of his predecessor and former CM BS Yediyurappa. The central leadership will be keeping a close watch on the performance to consider whether Bommai can continue to lead the party into the election year. Since one of the two constituencies falls under his home district, it is also a prestige battle for the CM.
Meanwhile, the Congress is also putting in some extra effort as it has lost most bypolls in recent times.
For the JD(S), it is a matter of relevance in north Karnataka where its party base is minimal and also to know whether the regional outfit gets the backing of minorities. Having fielded Muslim candidates in the two bypolls, it is imperative for the father-son duo to save face by securing a respectable vote share if not retain the Sindgi seat which was previously held by their late MLA MC Managuli.
All arrangements have been made to conduct the polls safely in the backdrop of the pandemic, said the Election Commission.
Karnataka chief electoral officer (CEO) Manoj Kumar Meena said they are ensuring that Covid norms are followed at the polling stations with one health staffer being deputed at every location for screening of voters. “The last one hour will be reserved for Covid-positive voters,” said Meena.