In the last election, it had recorded 74.98% polling
The highest voter turnout of 81.58% seen in the Jamkhandi byelection on Saturday has led to speculations on which party will stand to gain the most from the record turnout.
In the last Assembly election, Jamkhandi taluk had recorded 74.98% polling, in which the late Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda secured 49,245 votes. He had defeated Srikant Kulkarni of the BJP by 2,795 votes. Interestingly, the byelection has even broken the record of the voter turnout of the Assembly election in Jamkhandi where people had come in large numbers to vote.
Many would say that the byelection was fought primarily on the pivotal and crucial factor of sympathy. The Congress had intentionally offered ticket to Anand Nyamagouda, the elder son of Siddu Nyamagouda, who died in an accident earlier this year. The party wanted to gain the most advantage of the sympathy factor that people may be carrying for the family after the untimely demise.
Mr. Kulkarni too used the same factor to draw voters. Having lost twice to Mr. Nyamagouda in the past two Assembly polls, Mr. Kulkarni was using his successive defeats as ‘bait’ to gain voter sympathy. Urging them to compensate for the loss by giving him victory in the bypolls, he vehemently stressed that on account of his age, he would not be contesting polls again. Therefore, he wanted one last opportunity to serve the people before he opted for political retirement.
Political analysts now believing that the sympathy factor has prompted voters to exercise their right more intensely than in the last Assembly poll.
The high turnout is likely to be in favour of Mr. Anand Nyamgouda as people may want to see the son taking place of the father as MLA. In the same way, it is likely that voters may want to give Mr. Kulkarni one last chance as he has already tasted defeat twice. The counting on November 6 will show whether the wind of sympathy has blown in favour of the Congress or the BJP.