Karnataka polls: Heavyweights under pressure after high voter turnout

Last Updated: Sun, May 05, 2013 15:14 hrs

Bangalore: Karnataka elections were marred by ugly incidents on Sunday, where a Congress councilor in Kolar wielded a chopper in public, after getting into an argument with rival JD(S) workers. At the same time in Hassan districts, four JD(S) workers were hospitalized after a clash with Congress members at Saragur in Arakalgud constituency.

Meanwhile, the state witnessed polling to the tune of 68 per cent, with a low turnout in urban centers. Bangalore city witnessed a turnout of 55%, while Gulbarga witnessed a polling of 54%. Belgaum district had a record voter turnout, where over 90% of voting was recorded. Districts like Bijapur, Hassan, Haveri recorded polling of over 75%.

The polling is higher than the previous elections held in 2008, where state witnessed polling of around 64%.

Though the higher voting percentage is seen as a threat to the Congress, the poll pundits refuse to believe that. Most of the exit polls in Karnataka are predicting Congress surge in the state.

Most of the districts in Hyderabad-Karnataka border and some districts in the Mumbai-Karnataka border have witnessed low voter turnout, where Congress is expected to fare well. The two regions have more than 95 seats, where Congress is hoping to get over 50 seats.

However, in Old-Mysore region, most of the districts the polling percentage has increased, which is a worrying factor for Congress.

The elections witnessed some of heavy weights fretting to retain their seats. From Congress, chief ministerial candidates like Siddaramaiah and R V Deshpande are facing tight contests from their rival candidates. While Siddaramaiah is challenged by KJP candidate, former personal assistant of B S Yeddyurappa – Kapu Siddalingaswamy, Deshpande is challenged by sitting JD(S) MLA Sunil Hegde.

From JD(S), former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy are locked in tight battles. The grouse of Ramanagar voters, represented by Kumaraswamy is that he never visited the constituency after getting elected. Even during elections, Kumaraswamy never campaigned in the constituency. His wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is challenged by former minister C P Yogeshwar, who is contesting on Samajwadi party ticket.

Even BJP is facing such problems, where the party state president K S Eshwarappa is facing a tough fight from Congress. However, larger voter turnout has made him give a sigh of relief.

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