Bypoll begins in six states

| 02 June 2005 19:09 IST

Voting began on Thursday for bypolls to one Lok Sabha and 16 assembly seats spread over six states, which will decide among others the fate of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and veteran Karnataka politician S Bangarappa.

Bypolls are being held in one seat in Karnataka, five assembly seats in Goa, four in Uttar Pradesh, three in Haryana, two in Kerala and one in Andhra Pradesh.

An approximate 31 per cent of 1.16 lakh voters in Goa exercised their franchise by noon.

Poinguinim recorded the highest polling percentage of 38.08 per cent followed by Margao (32.61), Benaulim (30.05), Cumbharajua (28.61) and Talegaon (26.89), Election Commission sources said.

No untoward incident was reported from anywhere and polling was peaceful, police said.

The fate of 22 candidates, including Atanasio Monseratte, Digaamber Kamat and Pandurang Madaikar, who are contesting the bypolls on a Congress ticket, would be decided at the hustings.

The bypolls in Goa, which is under President's rule, are crucial as their outcome is likely to rekindle efforts for formation of a popular government.

Hooda, a Lok Sabha member from Rohtak constituency in Haryana, is trying his luck from Killoi. He is pitted against little-known Azad Singh Attri of the Indian National Lok Dal.

Seven candidates, including former Chief Minister S Bangarappa, are in the fray in Shimoga, Karnataka. The outcome is crucial for Bangarappa, who resigned from the BJP and gave up his Lok Sabha membership.

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