Bengaluru | The results for three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Karnataka that Saturday went to the bypolls, seen as a prestigious popularity test for the ruling Congress-JDS coalition, will be declared tomorrow.
Officials said counting of votes would begin at five centres, one each in five constituencies, at 8 AM Tuesday with a total of 1,248 counting staff deployed.
An estimated 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the bypolls for five constituencies.
A total of 31 candidates were in the fray from all the five constituencies, though the contest is mainly between the Congress-JDS combine and the BJP.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure to that no untoward incident takes place during the counting of votes, police officials said.
Police have been deployed around the counting centres and strongrooms where the EVMs are placed, they said.
The bypoll results will determine the fate of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita Kumaraswamy, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra and former Chief Minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa and others.
Anita Kumaraswamy is expected to have a smooth sailing Ramanagara, the seat vacated by her husband after BJP nominee L Chandrashekhar withdrew from the contest and rejoined the Congress.
In Jamkhandi, it remains to be seen whether Congress’ Anand Nyamagowda will be able to make his successful electoral debut, riding on the sympathy wave due to death of his father and former MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, by defeating Srikant Kulkarni of the BJP.
While in Shivamogga, Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra is testing his fortunes against another former chief minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S), in Ballari, senior BJP leader Sriramulu’s sister J Shantha is fighting against V S Ugrappa of the Congress, considered an outsider.
In the Vokkaliga bastion of Mandya, JD(S)’s Shivarame Gowda, is pitted against a fresh face in Dr Siddaramaiah, a retired Commercial Tax officer from the BJP.
Among the interesting things that one needs to watch out for is to what extent BJP would be able to make inroads into the JD(S) bastion of Mandya and the Congress stronghold of Jamkhandi.
Of similar interest would be to what extent the Congress will be able to regain its significance in its erstwhile party stronghold of Ballari, the seat earlier won by its top leader Sonia Gandhi.
Differences between Congress and JDS workers had come to the fore in Ramanagara and Mandya constituencies that fall under the old Mysuru region over the party’s decision to support the JDS candidates.
Congress and JD(S) had fought bitterly against each other in the assembly polls, especially in the old Mysuru region, but had joined hands to form a coalition government after a fractured mandate in the May assembly polls.
The Congress fielded its candidates in Jamkhandiand Ballari, JD(S) contested in Shivamogga, Ramanagara and Mandya under an electoral understanding.
The outcome of the by-polls is expected to have a bearing on the equations between the Congress and JDS for the 2019polls and also be a factor in determining the respective bargaining power of the two parties.
The by-polls were seen as significant as the coalition partners contested together, terming it as a “prelude” to the May 2019 general elections and called for a similar “grand secular alliance” against the BJP at the national level.
The by-elections were necessitated afterYeddyurappa (Shivamogga) and Sriramalu (Ballari), and C SPuttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya) resigned as MPs on their election to the assembly in May this year.
Bypolls to Jamkhandi assembly seat was caused by the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant after Kumaraswamy gave up the seat, preferring Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won.