Bengaluru: Byelections to three Assembly constituencies, Hebbal in Bengaluru, Devadurga in Raichur district and Bidar and election to 550 Zilla Panchayat (ZP) seats and 1,945 Taluk Panchayat (TP) seats across 15 districts is being held on Saturday.
District administrations and the police have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of the polls. Electronic voting machines would be used in both the elections. The voting would be held from 7 am to 5 pm.
The ZP/TP elections in Betadur in Dharwad district, where Lance Naik Hanmanthappa Koppad was cremated on Friday, has been put off to February 15.
The ZP/TP elections are being held in two phase. In the first phase on Saturday – Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Kolar, Chikaballapur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Belagavi, Haveri, Bagalkot, Uttara Kannada, Dharwad, and Gadag is going to polls.
Byelections to the three Assembly constituencies, including Hebbal in Bengaluru, and polls to 550 zilla panchayat (ZP) seats and 1,945 taluk panchayat (TP) seats across 15 districts, will be held on Saturday.
The polling will be held between 7 am and 5 pm. While the bypolls to the three Assembly segments of Hebbal, Devadurga, reserved for the Scheduled Tribe in Raichur district and Bidar will be monitored by the Election Commission of India, the ZP/TP polls will be held under the aegis of State Election Commission.
The district administrations and the police have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of the polls.
As many as 20 candidates are in fray for the high-profile the Hebbal seat, which witnessed high-voltage campaigning by political parties in the last 10 days. The Congress has fielded C K Abdul Rahaman Sharief, while two-time MLC Y A Narayana-swamy is contesting on a BJP ticket. Ismail Shariff is the JD(S) candidate.
Up north, Bidar is witnessing a pitched battle between Rahim Khan of the Congress and Prakash Khandre of the BJP with Ayaz Khan of the JD(S) in the fray. In Devadurga, it is an all-in-the-family fight between Rajashekhar Naik (Cong), K Shivanagouda Naik (BJP) and Karemma Gopalakrishna (JD-S).
The results of the three bypolls will be out on February 16.
Saturday will also witness the ZP and TP elections being held in 15 districts in the first phase. These include 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 ZP/TP elections for the remaining 15 districts will be held on February 20.
Election officials said carrying the electoral photo identity card (EPIC) or documents specified by Election Commission of India is mandatory to exercise franchise. Taking photographs using camera or mobile phones inside the polling stations is prohibited. Counting of votes for both the first and second phase of the ZP/TP elections will be taken up on February 23. For both the Assembly byelections and the local body elections, electronic voting machines would be used.
The outcome of both the bypolls and the ZP/TPs will once again prove to be a litmus test for the popularity of the Siddaramaiah government. The Congress, after managing to gain control over the BBMP despite the BJP emerging the number in terms of seats, is facing the polls with more confidence.