Election to the Periyapatna Assembly Constituency on Tuesday saw brisk polling with 83.84 per cent turnout.
The election in the constituency was postponed following the death of BJP candidate Sannamoge Gowda. Polling was peaceful with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere. But at Punadahalli near Periyapatna there was minor skirmish between Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) workers and police resorted to mild caning to disperse them.
There are 1,62,397 registered voters of whom 83,288 are men and 79,109 women. Polling picked up momentum early in the day. There were lengthy queues in most polling booths and the turnout was 48 per cent at 1 p.m. which increased to 51.75 per cent at around 2 p.m. and the polling percentage reached 82 per cent by 5 p.m.
The elections went off without any hitch but for minor snags of EVMs reported at Manchadevanahalli, Peteshaale and Bylakuppe which were rectified. Polling commenced at 7 a.m. and light drizzle in parts of the taluk brought the temperature down.
The Congress has fielded K. Venkatesh, who is seeking re-election, while the BJP has fielded R.T. Satish and the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate is K. Mahadev. Though the Congress is optimistic of increasing its tally from 121 seats to 122 seats in the Assembly by winning the Periyapatana seat, the BJP and the JD (S) — which have 40 seats each in the Assembly — are vying for the honours of the Principal Opposition party status and hence have campaigned hard for their respective candidates.
Counting of votes will take place on May 31 and the authorities have imposed restrictions on victory processions, bursting of crackers etc in a bid to maintain law and order.
Periyapatana has a track record of high polling percentage, and in the 2008 Assembly elections the turnout was 79.31 per cent. The voter turnout in the 2004 elections was 77.71 per cent while it was 78.18 per cent in 1999, 79.08 per cent in 1994 and 78.17 per cent in 1989.