Voting began for the three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Karnataka. It is being seen as a litmus test for ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition
Voting began for the three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Karnataka. It is being seen as a litmus test for ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka and its outcome is likely to have a bearing on the state’s political scene.
A total of 54.5 lakh electorate, including 27.2 lakh men and 27.3 lakh women, will vote in 6,543 polling booths across 3 Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies of Karnataka.
The bypolls are for three Lok Sabha seats — Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya — and for the Ramanagara and Jamkhandi assembly segments.
In a major embarrassment for the BJP, two days before the bypoll, its Ramanagara candidate against chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s wife quit the contest on Thursday and returned to the Congress.
Two women, Anitha, wife of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, and J Shantha, sister of BJP legislator BSriramulu, are contesting from Ramanagaram and Bellary (reserved) seats respectively.
Sons of three former state chief ministers are locked in a triangular contest from Shimoga in Malnad region. They are BY Raghavendra, son of BJP’s state unit president BS Yeddyurappa, who was the party’s first chief minister in the south from 2008-11, Madhu Bangarappa, younger son of former Congress chief minister S Bangarappa (1990-92) and Mahima Patel, son of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief minister JH Patel (1996-99).
Yeddyurappa, who won from Shimoga in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, resigned in May on getting elected to the assembly in the May 12 state elections from the Shikaripura segment.
The seat is a known bastion of the BJP, particularly Yeddyurappa, but the combined vote share of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) in the eight assembly segments falling within Shivamogga, was more than that of the BJP in the assembly elections this year.
The by-election to the Ballari Lok Sabha seat has seen a pitched battle with both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance going all out to capture the seat.