Ballari: Nearly 64 per cent polling was recorded in the Ballari Lok Sabha by-poll on Saturday, defying expectations as it was believed the voting would not cross 50 per cent.
Congress leaders were jubilant in all the eight assembly segments as the voters appeared to cast their vote for their party candidate, Congress MLC VS Ugrappa, who is pitted against the BJP’s J Shantha, sister of former Ballari MP, B Sriramulu, whose resignation from parliament has led to the bypoll Going by the buzz post -elections, the Muslims, Kurubas, most of the Lingayats, the Madigas and a majority of Other Backward Caste voters have voted for the Congress party.
But the Valmikis and touchable Scheduled Caste communities are said to have voted for the BJP.
The Lingayats are believed to have turned their backs on the saffron party despite their community strongman, B S Yeddyurappa, heading its state unit, to teach Mr Sriramulu a lesson as he is trying to sideline him and project himself as a future Chief Minister of the state.
‘BJP leader, Janardhan Reddy’s statement that former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah’s son, Rakesh had died because he was cursed and Sriramulu’s apparent attempt to overtake Yeddyurappa and become CM appear to have decided the Lingayats to turn their backs on the BJP this bypoll,” said a local BJP leader.
More or less confirming this, a Nayaka community youth, Muddala Krishna from Kamalapur town, said he had decided not to vote in the bypoll, but had at the last minute changed his mind and voted for the Congress. ‘I wanted to teach Sriramulu a lesson as he has unnecessarily imposed this by-election on us,” he explained.