By-elections to seven Assembly seats fixed on Dec 27

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Bangalore, Nov 24 (UNI) By-elections to seven of the eight Assembly seats in Karnataka would be held on December 27, according to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) M N Vidyashankar.

The CEO said notification would be issued on December 3 and the last date for filing nominations would be on December 10. Scrutiny would take place on the next day and last date for withdrawal of candidates would be on December 14, he added.

Mr Vidyashankar said the Model Code of Conduct comes with immediate effect and the counting would take place on December 30.

The constituencies going to polls, included Doddaballapur in Bangalore Rural District, Karwar in Uttara Kannada, Devadurga at Raichur, Arabhavi and Hukkeri at Belgaum, Turuvekere at Tumkur and Maddur in Mandya.

He said the by-election in Madhugiri constituency in Tumkur district was not included as an election petition was pending before the High Court. K N Rajanna, a defeated Congress candidate had challenged the election of D C Gowrishankar of Janata Dal (Secular), alleging that the latter had indulged in corrupt practices.

Mr Gowrishankar had won the election by a slender margin of about 1000 votes and later quit the party to join the BJP. The party has 110 MLAs and had formed the government with the support extended by three Independent members.

The fate of Legislators Balachandra Jarkiholi, Anand Asnotikar, Umeshkatti and Shivanagouda Naik, who switched over to the BJP and became ministers, would be decided in the bypolls.

While by-election to Maddur constituency was caused owing to death of M S Siddaraju, election to six other constituencies was due to 'Operation Kamal' under which four JD(S) and three Congress legislators quit and joined BJP to ensure a simple majority for the state government.

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