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Karnataka bypolls: Election for 15 seats vacated by Congress, JD(S) rebels today; contest ego battle for opposition, survival for BJP

Bypolls to 15 of the 17 Karnataka seats that fell vacant after rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker for violating their party whip and allowing rival BJP to prop up its government, are scheduled for Thursday (5 December).

After the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, which lasted for 14 months, the two allies have parted ways and are contesting the bypolls independently.

However, the Congress on Sunday indicated it was not averse to joining hands with JD(S) once again, in case the ruling BJP fails to garner required number of seats to be in majority. But JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda’s contradictory statement on the issue indicate that the regional party has not quite made up its mind.

File photo of HD Kumaraswamy. PTI

Currently, the BJP government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa enjoys a slim majority in the Karnataka Assembly and has the support of 106 MLAs in the 224-member House, while the Congress-JDS Opposition has the support of 101 MLAs. This means the ruling party will need to win at least six of the 15 seats being contested to retain its majority.

BJP has rewarded the Congress, JD(S) rebels by fielding 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators who joined the party as its candidates from their respective constituencies.

Before the polling in 15 constituencies begin tomorrow, take a look at some of the facts: 

Date of polling: 5 December, Thursday

Bypoll result date: 9 December, Monday

Constituencies in which bypolls will be held: Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chikkaballapura, KR Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, KR Pete, Hunsur.

Total number of candidates contesting: 165, including 126 Independents and nine women

With inputs from PTI 

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