Karnataka by-polls: BJP leading in 12 seats; Congress in 2
The counting of votes for the Karnataka by-polls commenced at 8 am on Monday and the results are expected post noon. Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 12 out of the 15 Assembly constituencies that went to poll. With 105 seats in the Assembly, the BJP needs to win at least seven seats to claim a majority. Here are more updates.
As per the latest EC trends, the BJP is leading in 12 constituencies: Mahalakshmi Layout, Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chikkaballapur, Krishnarajapete, Yeshvanthapura, and K.R. Pura. The Congress trails the BJP in all the 12 constituencies and is leading in two others: Hunasuru, Shivajinagar. Meanwhile, Independent candidate Sharath Kumar Bachegowda is leading in Hosakote.
Currently, the BJP has 105 seats in the 207-member Assembly with the support of one independent, crossing the majority mark of 104. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly has 224 seats, however, after 17 MLAs rebelled the former Kumaraswamy government and were disqualified, the strength of the House reduced to 207. Out of the 17 seats, only 15 went to poll in the December 5 by-polls.
Bypolls in two seats—Muski in Raichur district and R.R. Nagar in Bengaluru southwest—were not conducted since a petition challenging their results in the May 2018 Assembly elections remains pending. Hence, the strength of the House will now be 222, with the majority mark 112.
While the BJP and the Congress party contested in all 15 Assembly seats in the by-polls, the Janata Dal-Secular contested 12 seats. The by-polls witnessed a 67.9% voter turnout, i.e., 26 lakh out of the 38 lakh eligible voters cast their votes, in the 15 constituencies. Hosakote in Bengaluru Rural district recorded the highest voting percentage of 90.90, where Independent candidate Bachegowda is leading.
The by-polls are being conducted to fill the 15 out of 17 vacancies left after 17 MLAs of the former Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JDS government rebelled. The 17 MLAs, 14 from Congress and three from JD-S, defected to the BJP. The then-Karnataka Assembly Speaker disqualified them, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the BJP came to power, with BS Yediyurappa taking over as CM.