The curtain came down on the public campaign by candidates and political parties on Tuesday as the stage is set for the byelections to Mandya Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday.
More than 16 lakh voters across the constituency, which witnessed high-voltage campaigning and mudslinging in the past two weeks, will decide the fate of nine candidates battling for the parliamentary seat.
Polling in eight Assembly segments for the constituency will be held between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Actor-turned-politician Ramya (Divya Spandana) from the Congress, lorry driver-turned-politician C.S. Puttaraju from the Janata Dal (Secular) and seven others are in the electoral battle.
The battle lines are clearly drawn between Ms. Ramya and Mr. Puttaraju. The BJP has never won from the constituency and it has not fielded anyone, though it has extended support to the Janata Dal(S).
Both the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) have decided to storm the constituency as the results may set the trend for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
All preparations have been completed for the byelections, Mandya Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah said.
The constituency has 16,14,874 voters, including 8,01,232 women. A total of 1,975 polling stations have been established — 261 in Malavalli, 246 in Krishnaraja Pet, 244 in Maddur, 246 in Melkote, 247 in Mandya, 237 in Srirangapatna, 248 in Nagamanagala and 246 in Krishnaraja Nagar Assembly segments.
The district administration has deployed 9,480 officials, 542 micro observers and 116 sector officers on election duty. It has formed 30 flying squads and 32 surveillance squads, Mr. Krishnaiah said. A total of 381 polling stations have been identified as sensitive and 230 as hypersensitive in the constituency.
The district administration has banned carrying mobile phones, cameras, wireless phones or any other electronic gadgets inside the counting centres, he said.
Meanwhile, the district administration officials handed over Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to personnel concerned at Government College for Boys off Bangalore-Mysore State Highway on Tuesday.
Assistant Commissioner Shantha L. Hulmani made first-level checking of the EVMs.
Commuters using public transport may face inconvenience on Wednesday as the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has provided 268 buses to the district administration for election duty.
“The Mandya division has 480 vehicles,” N.K. Basavaraj, Divisional Controller of KSRTC, Mandya, told The Hindu here on Tuesday. The corporation has cancelled several trips on regular routes forcing commuters to depend on private vehicles.