A turnout of 97 per cent was recorded in the byelection to the Legislative Council from the Mysore–Chamarajanagar Local Authority constituency on Thursday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was among the notable absentees who failed to exercise their franchise.

However, a majority of the remaining elected representatives, including MLAs and MPs, cast their vote.

As many as 7,010 elected members from the local bodies in the two districts were eligible to cast their vote, of whom 4,743 were from Mysore district and 2,267 were from Chamarajanagar district.

The byelection was necessitated following the resignation of BJP MLC Mallikarjunappa from the BJP to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP).

A significant aspect of the bypoll was the electoral understanding between the BJP and the JD(S), which did not field candidates. The two parties extended support to the KJP candidate, U.S. Shekar, to defeat the Congress candidate, R. Dharmasena.

Ayub Khan, Independent, is the other candidate in the fray.

Brisk polling

Polling was brisk throughout the day and had exceeded 56 per cent by noon in Mysore district and 54 per cent in Chamarajanagar district. The turnout was high from morning in H.D. Kote taluk where the voting percentage was in excess of 75 per cent by noon and in T. Narsipur where it was 74.71 per cent. K.R. Nagar taluk also registered brisk polling with 71.35 per cent recorded at noon. However, it was dull in Nanjangud where the polling percentage was only 19.65 per cent till noon.

The results of the elections will be known on Monday when the counting of votes will be taken up. While the results will have no bearing on the government, it has assumed significance as it is the home turf of Mr. Siddaramaiah.

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