New Delhi: The by-elections for 15 out of 17 assembly seats in Karnataka are underway. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), till 1 pm the overall voter turn out was recorded at 32.51 percent.
Moreover, Athani recorded 40.89 percent voting, Kagawad ( 37.72 percent), Gokak (37.72 percent), Yellapur (41.72 percent), Hirekerur (38.63 percent), and Ranebennur (36.09 percent).
It should be noted that the poll body has withheld the elections for two seats — Maski and Rajarajeshwari — as petitions against these Assembly constituencies are pending in the Karnataka High Court.
According to the poll body, Athani recorded 40.89 percent voting, Kagawad ( 37.72 percent), Gokak (37.72 percent), Yellapur (41.72 percent), Hirekerur (38.63 percent), and Ranebennur (36.09 percent).
In the other nine constituencies, the voter turn till 9 am is as follows: Vijayanagara – 34.95 per cent, Chikkaballapur – 39.03 per cent, K R Pura – 22.23 per cent, Yashwantpura – 27.29 per cent, Mahalakshmi layout – 22.71 per cent, Shivajinagar – 22.12 per cent, Hosakote – 33.24 per cent, K R Pete – 39.47 per cent and Hunasuru – 38.2 per cent.
These by-polls are crucial for all the three major parties in the fray – BJP, Congress and JD(S). Apart from BJP and Congress which have fielded candidates in each of the 15 seats, there are over 100 independents. JD(S), meanwhile, is contesting on 12 seats.
In July, the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, led by former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy collapsed after 17 of its MLAs resigned. The resignations also reduced the majority mark in the 224-strong Assembly to 104.
The BJP with its 105 MLAs formed the government in the state.
At present, there are 207 MLAs in Karnataka Assembly with 104 required for a majority. With the election of 15 MLAs, the number of MLAs in the Assembly would go to 222. With that, the ruling party would require 112 MLAs for a majority in the Assembly.
Elections for two other seats will be held in the future which will take the majority mark to 113.