Initial reports suggested that INC Candidate NY Gopalakrishna won the Bellary Rural bypoll election by 33142 votes.
Chikkodi-Sadalga, Shikaripura and Bellary Rural went to the polls after Prakash Hukkeri (Congress) and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu (both BJP) vacated their seats respectively following their election to Lok Sabha.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the counting centres with observers supervising and overseeing the process which began at 8 am, officials said.
Twenty-two candidates are in the fray for the by-polls which are the first popular test in the state after the Lok Sabha polls. The ruling Congress is not only hoping to retain its seat but also wrest those held by BJP, which pulled out an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls, bagging 17 of the 28 seats against nine secured by the Congress.
It is also a prestigeous fight for Yeddyurappa as his son B Y Raghavendra is contesting from Shikaripura, his bastion from where the BJP strongman has won seven times.
JDS, led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has notfielded any candidates.