Counting of votes is underway for 28 Lok Sabha constituencies that went for polls in Karnataka in two phases, the results of which is likely to have its bearing on the stability of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
Counting of votes began at 8 am in 28 counting centres across the state, poll officials said.
While the highest voting percentage was recorded in Mandya Parliamentary constituency (80.23 per cent), the lowest voting percentage was recorded in Bangalore South (53.47 per cent).
State Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar had earlier said the first set of results may start from 3 PM and may be over by 6 PM. However, it can delay further too.
“Generally, results would start from 12 noon, but because four hours additional time will be required (for VVPAT counting), maybe from 3 PM onwards, we expect our results between 3 PM to 6 PM,” Kumar had said on Tuesday.
Karnataka went for polling in two phases of 14 constituencies each on April 18 and 23, from where a total of 461 candidates had contested.
Prominent contestants in the first phase were former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (Tumkur), his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Hassan and Mandya, as also Union Minister Sadananda Gowda (Bangalore north) and senior Congress leaders Verappa Moily(Chikkaballapura) and Sumalatha Ambareesh (Mandya).
In the second phase, among prominent contestants were Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Ministers Ananth Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada, Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur, BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra and former chief minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa of JD(S) from Shimoga, among others.
As the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka led by H D Kumaraswamy completes one year Thursday, the ruling coalition is on the edge with the Lok Sabha results widely expected to have a bearing on its stability.
Though coalition leaders decided to jointly fight the LS polls and reached a seat-sharing agreement of 21 and seven seats for Congress and JD(S), it was not something grassroot level workers of both parties were okay with, especially in old Mysuru region, where they are arch rivals.
BJP had contested 27 of 28 seats and supporting independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandya.
Of 28 constituencies that went to the polls, BJP had won 17, Congress in 9 and JD(S) in two in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The results of by-polls for Chincholi, necessitated by the resignation of Umesh Jadhav, who quit Congress and joined BJP to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Gulbarga, and Kundgol, that fell vacant following the death of Minister C S Shivalli, will also be declared on Thursday.