New Delhi: The results of the crucial by-elections to 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka will be declared today. The counting of votes, polled on December 5 started at 8 AM in 11 centers and a final picture is expected to be clear by noon.
Election officials have made all arrangements, including security for smooth and transparent counting. “Arrangements have been made for counting of votes in the 15 Assembly segments on Monday from 8:00 a.m. at 11 centres, including three in Bengaluru for four urban seats. Postal ballots will be counted first, followed by counting of votes in EVMs,” Election Commission official G Jadiyappa told a news agency.
Police have also imposed prohibitory orders and clamped down on activities that could disturb law and order.
The by-elections are considered a litmus test for four-month-old B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state as it needs to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in majority in the 224-member assembly.
The exit polls by local news channels and agencies have predicted clear majority for the ruling party (BJP) winning 9-12 of the 15 seats.
Parties confident of victory
While the BJP has exuded confidence that the people would have voted in favour of the party for stability and development, the Congress and JD(S) were optimistic that the defectors, who have been disqualified and are now the ruling party candidates, would be rejected by the electorate.
Speaking to reporters, a day before counting CM Yediyurappa had stated that his party would win at least 13 seats. “We will complete our term. Even people have the same expectations from us, he said.
In case the BJP fails to garner the required number of seats to retain majority, the state may witness another bout of political drama.
Speculations were rife about Congress and JD(S), which had parted ways on a bitter note after the collapse of the Kumaraswamy government, coming together and form a coalition ministry again, though leaders of the two parties have sent mixed signals on such a possibility ahead of the polls.
Why Bypolls Were Held?
The bypolls in the Assembly seats were necessitated following the resignation and disqualification of 14 Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel MLAs, which led to the collapse of the Kumaraswamy government on July 23. Of the total 15 seats, 12 were held by the Congress and three by JD(S).
The 15 constituencies that went to bypolls include Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, KR Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, KR Pete and Hunsur.