Ramanagaram, Channapatna and Kanakapura Assembly constituencies, hotbed of political rivalries with big names contesting, saw some brisk voting on Sunday morning, though largely peaceful.
Big names such as Janata Dal (Secular) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy (Ramanagaram) and his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy, the former minister C.P. Yogeshwar from SP, D.K. Shivakumar from Congress and P.G.R Sindhia from the JD (S) are contesting from this region.
When The Hindu criss-crossed these three prominent constituencies to assess mood of the electorates on the polling day, the first encounter was with Mr. Kumaraswamy. As he is the only star campaigner, other than his father H.D. Deve Gowda, and was touring across the State, Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy descended on Ramanagaram for the first time on the polling day to seek blessings of the people.
As his vehicle entered Nalband road, people mobbed him. Some were eager to show their ring finger to testify their loyalty to Janata Dal (Secular).
The rocks of Ramanagaram-Vokkaliga bastion was emitting less heat compared to raising poll heat. The polling which was brisk in the morning turned sluggish, as temperature rose. Election authorities looked satisfied with the constituency recorded 50 per cent polling. Electorates from minority community were enthusiastically thronging polling stations in droves.
At Vittalenahalli in Channapatna constituency, which is classified a sensitive area by the Election Commission, every voter was being screened. This was the place where two farmers were killed in police firing during Neera agitation of 2001 and Mr. Deve Gowda had conducted a padayatra from Vitalenahalli to Bangalore and established party’s supremacy over the constituency.
“People are facing the brunt of the incident even after a decade,” regretted Chandre Gowda, petty shop owner.
The picture at Kanakapura was in total contrast for Ramanagaram and Channapatna. Congress candidate D.K. Shivakumar here drew the wrath of Election Commission for being in the cubicle while his wife exercised her franchise early in the morning.
This sensitive constituency witnessed a violent incident where Congress workers allegedly attacked a JD (S) worker. “A case has been registered under SC and ST Atrocities Act. We are sure there will a counter complaint from other party”, police officer on duty said.