248 candidates file nominations for Karnataka by-polls

South India

BENGALURU: A total of 248 candidates including ruling BJP and those belonging to the Congress, JD(S), have filed their nominations for December 5 bypolls to 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka, poll officials said.

Among the total 248 candidates, 56 are from National parties, 17 from state parties, 47 from registered unrecognised parties, and 128 are independents.
The highest- 28 candidates have filed their nomination from Shivajinagar constituency, followed by Hoskote with 27 candidates; Krishnarajpet has least- 8 candidates.
The bypolls was necessitated after the resignation and absence of 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators. Subsequently, the legislators were disqualified by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
However, the Supreme Court on November 13 upheld the decision of the then Karnataka speaker to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs and said that they can contest the upcoming by-elections in the state.
In July this year, Former Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 MLAs under the anti-defection act. They were also barred from contesting polls for the duration of the current assembly, which is slated to end in 2023.
The disqualification move had led to falling of the Congress-JD (S) coalition government, paving way for BJP to stake claim to form a new government in the state.
After their disqualification, the strength of the 224-member Assembly had come down to 207. This had brought down the majority mark to 104. The BJP, which helms the government in the state, has 106 MLAs in the Assembly.
With the by-poll elections, the majority mark will climb to 222 and the BJP will have to win a minimum of six out of fifteen seats to keep its majority.
On September 28, the Election Commission had announced that the by-polls for 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka will be held on December 5.
By-polls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAs.
The elections to these seats were earlier slated for October 21 but later postponed to December 5 by the Election Commission (EC) as the case pertaining to the disqualification of 17 MLAs was pending in the Supreme Court.
The poll body had withheld the elections for two seats -- Maski and Rajarajeshwari -- as the petitions against these Assembly constituencies are pending in the Karnataka High Court.
BJP has fielded 13 disqualified legislators as party candidates from their respective constituencies.
By winning majority seats crucial for the government's survival. Considering the bypolls as a prestige battle, Congress and JD(S) have said ensuring the defeat of disqualified MLAs, who "betrayed" them was their main agenda.
Among the 15 constituencies going for bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S).
The poll for 15 Assembly constituencies namely Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagara, Chikkaballapur, K.R. Pura, Yeshvanthapura, Mahalakshmi, Shivajinagar, Hosakote, Krishnarajpet and Hunsur, will be conducted from 7 am to 6 pm.
The scrutiny of nominations would take place on Tuesday and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures was November 21. Counting of votes would take place on December 9.

Image credit: NDTV

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