By-polls underway in State
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By-polls underway in State

April 17, 2021

Counting of votes on May 2

Mysore/Mysuru: The by-polls to Belagavi Lok Sabha Constituency and Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly segments began on a brisk note this morning.

The by-election of Belagavi LS seat was necessitated by the death of Suresh Angadi, who was a Union Minister of State for Railways, while the by-poll for Basavakalyan segment in Bidar district was necessitated by the death of sitting Congress MLA B.Narayanrao and that for Maski due to the defection of the then Congress MLA Pratapgouda Patil to the BJP.

The by-poll is taking place even as the country is witnessing a massive spike in COVID-19 infections. However, the polls are being held in accordance with COVID-19 SOPs and all precautionary and safety measures in place.

In Belagavi, the contest is mainly between the BJP and the Congress, although a couple of Independent candidates are also  in the fray. While the BJP has fielded Mangala Angadi, wife of the late Union Minister Suresh Angadi, the Congress has fielded Satish Jarkiholi, a KPCC Vice-President and former Minister. Interestingly, the JD(S) has not fielded any candidate here.

In Maski segment of Raichur district, the ruling BJP has fielded turncoat Pratapgouda Patil, while the Congress has fielded Basanagouda Turvihal, who  recently switched over to the Congress from the BJP. The JD(S) has not fielded a candidate here too. Turvihal, who had contested on a BJP ticket in the 2018 Assembly polls, had lost by a slender margin of less than 200 votes to Pratapgouda Patil who had contested on a Congress ticket then.

Basavakalyan Constituency in Bidar district seems to be a four-cornered contest. The Congress, which held the seat, has fielded Mala, wife of late MLA B.Narayanrao, while the  ruling BJP has fielded Sharanu Salagar,  a native of neighbouring Kalaburagi district. The JD(S) has fielded  a Muslim candidate  Syed Yasrab Ali Qadri. Mallikarjun Khuba, a former MLA from here, is contesting as an independent candidate after being denied the BJP ticket. With all the four candidates having their own clout in the segment, Basavakalyan is witnessing a four-cornered contest, unlike the other two Constituencies (Belagavi LS seat and Maski Assembly seat) which are witnessing a direct fight between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress.

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The voting will conclude at 7 pm. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 2, along with the counting for the Assembly polls held for West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

By-poll is also being held today for Tirupati (SC) Lok Sabha seat in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where former Karnataka Chief Secretary Ratnaprabha is contesting as BJP candidate.

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