Three assembly constituencies in K'taka to go polls on April 9

Bangalore: The Election Commission on Saturday announced the schedule for bye-election on April nine in three assembly constituencies in Karnataka.

Chennapatna, Jagalur (ST) and Bangarpet (SC) constituencies will go to bypolls follow resignations by M C Ashwath (JDS) from his Chennapatna seat and S V Ramachandra and M Narayanaswamy (both Congress) from their assembly memberships from Jagalur and Bangarapet constituencies respectively.

All three former MLAs later joined BJP, drawing allegations from the opposition that ruling BJP had lured the legislators as part of its "operation lotus".

The opposition alleged BJP revived 'operation lotus' after eleven of its rebel MLAs and five independents withdrew support to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's government in October.

Yeddyurappa, however, has denied the allegations, saying those who were joining BJP were doing so "voluntarily".

EC has not taken a decision over holding a bypoll in Koppal assembly constituency which fell vacant recently following the resignation by JDS member Karadi Sanganna who the opposition allege also quit due to 'operation lotus'.

The 224-member Karnataka legislative assembly still has 17 vacancies.

Sixteen MLAs have been disqualified under the provisions of the anti-defection law and Sanganna resigned on March 3.