Legislative Council Elections: JD(S) Leads In First Round

Jun 13, 2018

Results to be known only late in the evening

Mysuru: Former Legislative Council Deputy Chairman Marithibbegowda of JD(S) took the lead over his rivals after the first round of counting of votes polled in the biennial election to the State Legislative Council from South Teachers Constituency, comprising the four districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Hassan. The election was held on June 8.

The counting of votes began at 8 am this morning at Maharani’s Women’s Commerce and Management College on Valmiki Road in Vinayakanagar (Paduvarahalli) under tight Police security. The counting of votes for South-West Teachers and South-West Graduates Constituencies too are being held at Maharani’s College here.

After the first round of counting of South Teachers Constituency in which 7,000 of the 16,707 votes cast were counted, Marithibbegowda of JD(S) was leading by a comfortable margin of 468 votes against his nearest rival M. Lakshmana of the Congress.

While Marithibbegowda bagged 2,605 votes, Lakshmana of the Congress polled 2,137 votes and B. Niranjanmurthy of the BJP had got 1,757 votes. Apart from the candidates of the three prominent parties, there are six independent candidates in the fray — A.H. Gopalakrishna, D.K. Tulasappa, Dr. S.B.M. Prasanna (Dr. Ajay Prasanna), Prof. Mahadev, M.N. Ravishankar and P.A. Sharath Raj — who have all failed to make a notable impact after the first round of counting, which concluded at 1 pm.

Soon as the counting process started at 8 am, the ballot papers were taken out of the boxes and made into bundles of 25 each.

After all the bundles of ballot papers were mixed, 500 ballot papers were assigned to each of the 14 counting tables for separation of valid and invalid votes and for counting of first preference votes to candidates.

A candidate who secures 50 percent of the valid first preference votes plus one will be declared the winner.

The counting of the second and third preference votes will be taken up only if no candidate gets the required number after the counting of the first preference votes.

As many as 16,707 out of the 20,677 voters of South Teachers Constituency had exercised their franchise in the election held on June 8.

Tight Police security was provided at the counting centre to ensure that no untoward incident takes place, with Mounted Police personnel and scores of other Police personnel keeping a watch all around the Centre.

With the counting process on, vehicular movement on Valmiki Road and other roads in the vicinity were blocked and motorists had to take alternative routes.

While the trend in the South Teachers Constituency came to be known after the first round of counting, the counting of the first round first preference votes in South-West Teachers and South-West Graduates Constituencies was still underway when we went to the Press.

The Election Commission had provided NOTA (none of the above) option for the first time in the Legislative Council polls.

Entry to the centre was allowed only to persons authorised by the Election Commission.

Also mobile phones, except for the officials and the staff permitted by the Returning Officer (RO) were not allowed inside the counting centre.

Mysuru Regional Commissioner (RC) P. Hemalatha is the RO for all the three Constituencies.

Elsewhere in the State, the counting of votes for South-East Teachers and Bengaluru Graduates Constituencies began at R.V. College in Bengaluru, while the counting of votes for North-East Graduates Constituency got underway at Kalaburagi.

Although, the JD(S) and Congress are coalition partners in the State government, the two parties are fighting separately in these polls, with the Opposition BJP making a strong bid to win in all the six seats.

Even as the counting process is underway, officials did not rule out the possibility of the counting process extending till late today or even early hours of Wednesday.