56 percent polling in three Karnataka bypolls

Bengaluru, Feb 13 (IANS) Around 56 percent voter turnout was reported in three assembly by-elections held in Karnataka on Saturday.

“Polling was peaceful in Hebbal in Bengaluru, Devadurga (reserved for Scheduled Tribes) in Raichur district and Bidar in the state’s northern region,” an election commission official told IANS here.

The voting percentage in Hebbal was lowest at 44 percent, while it was highest at 66 percent in Devadurga and 56 percent in Bidar.

Counting is on February 16.

In the high-profile Hebbal constituency, 20 candidates are in fray, including C.K. Abdul Rahaman Sharief of the Congress, Y.A. Narayanaswamy of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Ismail Shariff of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

Sharief is the grandson of former Union minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief, while Narayanaswamy is a two-time lawmaker of the state legislative council.

In Devadurga, main candidates are Rajashekhar Naik (Congress), K. Shivanagouda Naik (BJP) and Karemma Gopalakrishna (JD-S), who all belong a joint family.

In Bidar, the main contestants are Rahim Khan (Congress), Prakash Khandre (BJP) and Ayaz Khan (JD-S).

Meanwhile, the state election commission held elections in 550 zilla panchayat and 1,945 taluk panchayat seats in 15 districts across the state in the first phase.

The districts are Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagaram, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Belagavi, Haveri, Bagalkot, Uttara Kannada, Dharwad, and Gadag.

A total of 2,087 candidates are in the fray for 550 ZP seats and 6,288 candidates for 1,945 TP seats.

The second phase of the local bodies polls in the remaining 15 districts will be held on February 20 across the state.

Counting of votes for both the first and second phase of the panchayat elections will be on February 23.

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