We will look into the matter: Superintendent of Police

While candidates who contested the byelections to the Mandya Lok Sabha seat are eager to know the results, their supporters are indulging in betting in the constituency.

Polling was held amid police security in eight Assembly segments — seven in Mandya district and one in Mysore district — in the constituency on Wednesday.

Counting of votes will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday and the results are expected to be out by evening.

As many as nine candidates contested the byelections.

There was a straight fight between the Congress candidate Ramya (Divya Spandana) and the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate C.S. Puttaraju.

Even as the countdown for counting began, betting became intense in the district.

Two lorry owners at Hosahalli here, after an argument among themselves on Thursday, staked their vehicles on Friday on who would emerge victorious in the byelections.

While Mandya District Ganigara Sangha president M. Siddashetty bet his vehicle in favour of Ms. Ramya, his friend, H.K. Manchanna, bet his lorry in favour of Mr. Puttaraju.

The two owners handed over the lorry keys to Sanjay Kumar, president of Mandya District Lorry Owners Association.

Agreement

As per the agreement, the winner will collect the keys to the two vehicles soon after the results.

Mr. Siddashetty is an active member of the Congress, while Mr. Manchanna is a die-hard fan of Mr. Puttaraju, sources said.

However, the two lorry owners were not available for comments.

Illegal

However, a few officials of the district administration said that indulging in election betting is an offence under the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code.

When contacted, Mandya Superintendent of Police Borase Bhushan Gulabroa told The Hindu that “he will look into the matter.” Mandya Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah said that he was unaware of the incident.

Rampant

According to reports reaching here, in rural parts of the constituency, many followers of the contestants have staked their livestock, motorcycles, mobile phones, wrist watches in mutual betting.

However, the officials concerned said that they were unaware of such activities.

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