K’taka bypolls: High stakes for Cong-JD(S) alliance as counting of votes begins

Bengaluru (Karnataka): The ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, which has seen rough patches time and again, is all set to undergo its first litmus test as counting of votes cast during the recently-held bypolls has begun.

Results for bypolls held in Shimoga, Bellary and Mandya Lok Sabha seats, and Ramanagara and Jamakhandi legislative assembly seats will be declared later today.

Elections in the three Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies were held on November 3.
At the end of the stipulated voting period, Bellary parliamentary constituency had recorded the highest voter turnout (63.85 per cent) among the three Lok Sabha constituencies while Mandya saw the least (53.93 per cent). Among the assembly constituencies, Jamakhandi recorded 81.58 per cent while Ramanagara saw 73. 71 per cent voter turnout.

While JD(S) candidates contested from Mandya and Shimoga Lok Sabha seats and the Ramanagara assembly constituency, the Congress fielded candidates in the Bellary Lok Sabha seat and Jamakhandi assembly seat.

In Ramanagara, the JD (S) fielded Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy. The by-poll was necessitated after Kumaraswamy, who contested on two seats – Channapatna and Ramanagara – in the assembly elections earlier this year, decided to resign from Ramanagara.

The Shimoga Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after former state chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yeddyurappa decided not to contest the assembly election from Shikaripura.

The terms for the Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya seats will be too short considering the fact that the Lok Sabha elections are due next year.