New Delhi: An estimated 60 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Thursday until 5:24 PM in by-elections to 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka where there are 37.78 lakh electors, stated news agency PTI.

So far, Chikkaballapura recorded the highest voter turnout of 79.8 per cent while KR Puram of Bengaluru recorded the lowest voter turnout of just 37.5 per cent, stated the report. Meanwhile, Mahalakshmi layout of Bengaluru recorded 40.47 per cent while Shivajinagar recorded 41.13 voter turnout, stated officials.

According to news agency PTI, the voter turnout recorded in other constituencies on Thursday were 70.73 per cent in  Athani, 69.76 in Kagwad, 66.64 in Gokak, 72.23 in Yellapur, 72.42 in Hirekerur, 67.92 in Ranebennur, 58.93 in Vijayanagara, 48.34 in Yeshwanthpura, 76.19 in Hoskote, 75.87 in K R Pete, and 74.47 in Hunsur, added the officials.

Notably, the Karnataka by-election results would determine the longevity of the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state. For the BJP to remain in the majority, they need to secure at least six of the 15 seats in Karnataka’s 225-member assembly. The by-elections in the state are necessitated by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose rebellion led to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JDS coalition government in July and paved way for the BJP to come to power.

The BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators, who joined the party, as its candidates from their respective segments from where they had won in the 2018 assembly elections on Congress and JDS tickets.

Speculation is rife about Congress and JD(S) not being averse to joining hands once again to form a coalition government in case the BJP fails to garner the required number of seats to stay in the majority.

Among 15 constituencies going to the by-polls, 12 were held by the Congress and three by JD(S). A total number of 165 candidates — 156 men and nine women — are in the fray for the by-polls.

(With inputs from PTI)