Karnataka bypolls: 165 candidates in fray, Congress, BJP both have 15 candidates
Bengaluru, Nov 22: A total of 165 candidates are in the fray for December 5 by-polls to 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka, poll officials said on Thursday. Among 165 contesting candidates, 156 are men and 9 women. While Shivajinagar with 19 has the highest number of candidates in the fray, followed by Hoskote with 17; least number of candidates 7 each are in K R Pete and Yellapura.
Fifty-three out of total 218 validly nominated candidates have withdrawn their nominations till Thursday, the last day to do so, with highest number of 11 withdrawals in Hunsur constituency.
Among the major political parties in the state, BJP and Congress have 15 candidates each in the fray, and number of JD(S) candidates was 12.
JDS candidate from Athani constituency - Gurappa Shivaning Dashyal and Shivalinga Shivacharya Swamigalu (a swamiji) from Hirekerur, withdrew their candidature.
JD(S) is supporting BJP rebel and independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda in Hoskote by not fielding its candidate.
Meanwhile, BJP on Thursday expelled from its primary membership rebels Sharath Bachegowda along with Kaviraj Urs (Vijayanagara), who are contesting December five bypolls as independent candidates, for "anti-party activity."
Counting of votes for December 5 bypolls will take place on December 9.
The bypolls was necessitated after the resignation and absence of 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators, which led to the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy headed coalition government and paved way for BJP to come to power.
With winning a majority seats crucial for the government's survival, BJP has fielded 13 of 16 disqualified legislators who joined the party as its candidates from their respective constituencies.
Among the 15 constituencies going to bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S).
Both Congress and JD(S) have taken this bypolls as a "prestige battle" and have said that defeating disqualified MLAs, who are now BJP candidates, was their main agenda.
There are about 37,77,970 eligible voters in 15 constituencies going for polls, among them 19,25,529 are men, 18,52,027 are women, and 414 others.
While, among total eligible voters, 79,714 are young voters (18-19 years), 20,818 are Persons with Disability (PwD) voters.
The 15 constituencies that will go for bypolls include: Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagar, Chikballapur, KR Puram, Yeshwanthpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, Hoskote, KR Pet and Hunsur.
Elections to Maski and RR Nagar constituencies have been withheld as separate cases with regard to them, are pending before the high court.