BANGALORE: The bypoll to Karnataka's Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha seat ended peacefully Sunday with over 60 percent of 1.24 million voters casting their ballots.
"Around 60 percent voting has taken place and the process was peaceful," a spokesperson for the state election office told reporters in Bangalore. Booths opened at 8 a.m. and voting closed at 5 p.m.
The bypoll has been caused by Bharatiya Janata Party's D.V. Sadananda Gowda vacating the seat after becoming chief minister last August, succeeding scam-hit party colleague B.S. Yeddyurappa.
The fight is between BJP's youth leader V. Sunil Kumar and K. Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress, though Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) also has its candidate S.L. Bhoje Gowda, a local leader, in the fray.
The vote count is on March 21.
Since Gowda held the seat and is facing a determined bid by Yeddyurappa to oust him, retaining it is critical for him to continue in office.
Around 7,000 police personnel are on duty to ensure smooth polling in the constituency spread over Udupi and Chikmagalur districts, according to state chief electoral office C.S. Suranjan.