New Delhi: Polling for 15 Assembly seats began — 12 held by Congress and 3 by JD(S)— at 7 AM in Karnataka on Wednesday. The counting of votes will take place on December 9. Over 165 candidates, including 126 Independents and 9 women, are in a close fight for the 15 assembly seats.
As many as 37.78 lakh people are expected to cast their votes. The bypolls are being held to fill the vacancies caused due to the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose rebellion led to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for the BJP to take over in its stead.
While the BJP and the Congress are the two main contestants in all the 15 assembly seats, the JD-S has also fielded candidates in 12 seats.
The 15 Assembly constituencies that are going to the bypolls are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagar, Chikballapur, KR Puram, Yeshwanthpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, Hoskote, KR Pet and Hunsur.
The Election Commission has deployed 323 flying squads and 578 static surveillance teams in all the 15 Assembly segments, including five in Bengaluru, seven in the state’s northwest region and two in the old Mysore region, to ensure that the polling goes in a smooth way.