Bengaluru, (Aryavarth) Ruling BJP is leading in Belgaum Lok Sabha seat and Basavakalyan Assembly seat, while Opposition Congress is leading in Maski (reserved) Assembly seat in Karnataka where bypolls were held on April 17, a poll official said on Sunday.
“BJP’s candidate Mangala Suresh Angadi is leading in Belgaum over Congress nominee Satish Jarkiholi, while BJP candidate Sharanu Salagar is leading in Basavakalyan over Mala B Narayanrao of Congress,” the official told IANS.
In Maski (Scheduled Tribe), Basanagouda Turuvihal of Congress is leading over BJP’s Pratapgouda Patil.
In the initial rounds of counting, Mangala secured 1,03,067 votes and Satish 94,092 votes in Belgaum, while in Basavakalyan, Salagar got 9,282 votes and Mala 4,848 votes.
In Maski, Turuvihal fetched 22,575 votes and Patil 14,709 votes.
Vote count began from 8am onwards in all the 3 constituencies amid tight security and under the Covid-induced safety guidelines to ensure social distancing and contain the virus spread.
“As per the procedure, postal ballots were counted first in all the 3 seats and votes in EVMs (electronic voting machines) are being counted in Belgaum, Basavakalyan and Maski,” said the official.
Of 18,13,567 electorate in Belgaum, 10,16,025 voted, resulting in 56.02 per cent polling.
Of 2,39,782 electorate in Basavakalyan, 1,47,647 voted, resulting in 61.58 per cent polling.
Of 2,06,429 electorate in Maski, 1,45,458 voted, resulting in 70.40 per cent polling.
In all, 30 candidates, including 10 in Belgaum, 12 in Basavakalyan and 8 in Maski contested. Of them, 26 are men and 4 women.
There are also 5 Independents each in Belgaum and Maski and 4 in Basavakalyan.
The by-elections were held to fill vacancies caused by the death of Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and BJP member in Belgaum and death of Congress legislator B. Narayan Rao in Basavakalyan and due to the disqualification of Pratapgouda Patil in Maski.
Angadi, a four-time Lok Sabha member from the region, died due to Covid on September 23, 2020 in New Delhi, while Rao also died due to the infection on September 24, 2020 in Bengaluru.
Satish, 58, is a legislator from the Yemakanmardi Assembly seat in the border district of the state.
Satish is also the younger brother of BJP’s tainted former state Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is embroiled in the sleaze CD that has rocked the state recently.
Patil, who defected to BJP from Congress in November 2019, has re-contested to retain Maski on the lotus symbol.
Though the opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) did not contest in Belgaum and Maski, it fielded Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri in Basavakalyan.