14 Karnataka LS seats to go to polls on Tuesday

Bengaluru, April 22 : An estimated 2.43 crore voters, which include around 10 lakh first-time voters, are set to vote for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the western and northern Karnataka in the third phase of polling on Tuesday.

Congress leader in the 16th Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Anant Kumar Hegde (BJP) and sons of two former Karnataka Chief Minister are among the prominent names whose fate would be sealed in EVMs on Tuesday.

"Arrangements have been made for polling in the 14 seats across the erstwhile Bombay province and the Hyderabad-Karnataka region from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with fool-proof security," a poll official told IANS.

Karnataka's Chief Electoral Officer has identified 5,605 polling stations as critical and has deployed additional cops to ensure free and fair voting. Voters have already cast their votes for other 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state on April 18 in the second phase of polling. 69 per cent of voting was registered in the second phase.

The constituencies going to vote on Tuesday are Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur (SC), Gulbarga (SC), Raichur (ST), Bidar, Koppal, Bellary (ST), Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davanagere and Shimoga.

There are 216 all-women (sakhi) and 39 ethnic booths for gender and tribal empowerment, said the official. In all 237 candidates, including 10 women, are in the fray.

With the ruling JD-S and Congress fielding common candidates as part of their pre-poll alliance, the BJP nominees are locked in a straight contest with them after nearly 3 decades. There are 164 Independents in the race too.

While the Congress is contesting Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Gulbarga (SC), Raichur (ST), Bidar, Koppal, Bellary (ST), Haveri, Dharwad and Davanagere seats, the JD-S Bijapur (SC), Shimoga and Uttara Kannada.

Congress leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is contesting from the Gulbarga (SC) to score a hat-trick. He is facing Umesh Jadhav, a former Congress legislator who joined the BJP after resigning in March.

In the high-profile Shimoga constituency, B.Y. Raghvendra and Madhu Bangarappa, sons of former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa and late S. Bangarappa -- are locked in straight contest.

In the Bellary (ST) seat, BJP's Devandrappa is facing outgoing Congress member V.S. Ugrappa who won the seat in the November 2018 by-election. The bypoll was necessitated following resignation of BJP's B. Sreeramulu in May 2018, after he was elected to the Assembly from Molakalamuru (ST) in the adjacent Chitradurga district.

In Dharwad, outgoing BJP MP Prahlad Joshi is taking on Vinay Kulkarni of the Congress. In Bidar, Congress state working President Eshwar Khandre is facing sitting BJP member Bhagawanth Khuba.

BJP's Union Ministers firebrand Anant Kumar Hegde and Ramesh Jigajinagi are contesting against JD-S candidates Anand Asnotikar in Uttara Kannada on the west coast and woman leader Sunita Devanand, respectively.

The Congress has also fielded woman candidate Veena Kasappanavar in Bagalkot against outgoing BJP MP P.C. Gaddigoudar. The BJP has not fielded any woman in this phase. Its sitting member Shobha Karandlaje re-contested from Udupi-Chikamagalur in the April 18 polling.

(IANS | 1 year ago)

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14 Karnataka LS seats to go to polls on Tuesday