Karnataka bypolls: 54.7% in ’18 to 50.9%, slide continues in Mahalakshmi Layout

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Bengaluru’s Mahalakshmi Layout assembly constituency witnessed a poor voter turnout of 50.92%.

Karnataka bypolls: 54.7% in ’18 to 50.9%, slide continues in Mahalakshmi Layout
An observer interacts with Congress’ M Shivaraju about a snag in the EVM, at a polling booth in Mahalakshmi Layout | nagaraja Gadekal

BENGALURU: Bengaluru’s Mahalakshmi Layout assembly constituency witnessed a poor voter turnout of 50.92%. In the 2018 polls, the turnout was 54.72%. Though 12 candidates were in the fray, the urban constituency witnessed a triangular fight between the contestants of the Big 3 parties — BJP, JDS and Congress.

K Gopalaiah, who was elected from JDS in the 2018 polls and later jumped to BJP after he was disqualified, Congress candidate M Shivaraju, a three-time corporator and JDS candidate Girish K Nashi, a chartered accountant and a new face in the party, sweated it out throughout the day by meeting voters near almost all polling stations as a last minute effort to woo them.

Considered a JDS stronghold, it appeared that Gopalaiah was the frontrunner this time as saffron party workers were campaigning hard and bringing voters from their houses to the polling stations on the D-day.
Several voters, however, were not really enthusiastic in exercising their franchise. On the contrary, the elderly with their walking sticks and persons with disabilities came in large numbers to vote.
Many voters were seen complaining that the bypoll was unnecessary as they had elected their legislator just last year.

“This (bypoll) is the result of selfishness of a few politicians. Our representative was elected just 18 months ago ... What is the point of voting again and again and how will they develop our area if they can’t stick on for five years?” rued Manjunath, a resident of Kamalanagar, who, however, voted.
First-time voters were seen entering the polling stations with all excitement. “It feels good that now I can support the representative I want to choose. I will continue voting in all future elections,” said Navya, a BCom student, a first-time voter.

Except for the EVM at Ravi English School in Kurubarahalli that developed technical snag resulting in the voting process getting disrupted for about 30 minutes, the constituency did not witness any major hiccups.


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