70 per cent cast ballot in Bellary (Rural) bypoll

About 70 per cent of the electorate cast their ballot in Bellary (rural) bypoll in Karnataka.

Updated: Nov 30, 2011, 23:58 PM IST

Bellary: About 70 per cent of the electorate
cast their ballot in Bellary (rural) bypoll in Karnataka where
the ruling BJP is locked in a bitter contest with its former
leader B Sreeramulu who is seeking re-election as an
independent.

"The polling was completely peaceful", an Election
Commission official said.

With 133 polling booths identified as hypersensitive and
52 sensitive out of the total 195, the Assembly segment had
come under a thick security blanket with some 2,500 personnel,
including four companies of central paramilitary force, civil
police and home guards, deployed.

Sreeramulu, a former Health Minister, quit the seat after
being indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining, and
parted ways with the BJP by contesting as an independent.

It`s seen as a prestigious battle for the ruling BJP,
after the Reddy brothers and former Ministers -- G Janardhana
Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy, who had been given free hand in
the district party affairs -- drifted away from it.

In the run-up to the fiercely contested bypoll, BJP
suspended two Lok Sabha members, three MLAs and one MLC who
backed Sreeramulu.

P Gadilingappa is the BJP candidate, while the Congress
has fielded B Ramprasad in this triangular contest. JDS of
former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has extended support to
Sreeramulu.

The counting is scheduled for December four.

PTI