In the wake of Supreme Court judgement in the Karnataka MLAs disqualification case, the Election Commision of India (ECI) on Wednesday (November 13) directd that Assembly by-elections in the state will be held according to the schedule.
For the total 15 assembly seats, candidates can file their nominations till November 18, the voting will be held on December 5, while the counting will take place on December 9, the ECI said.
The by-elections are conducted after the resignation of 17 MLAs from Congress. The current Yeddyurappa government faces a litmus test as the ruling party needs to win at least 9 Assembly seats in the upcoming by-election for its survival.
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly has a total of 207 MLAs, out of which 104 are from the BJP. The current numbers are enough for the survival of the BJP-led government, but after the by-election results, the number of MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly will be have 222 members, thereby, the ruling party will come into minority.
In that situation, BJP would need the support of 113 MLAs for majority.
Currently, the Congress has 65 MLAs while JDS has 34 MLAs and together there are 99 MLAs in opposition. Both these parties have win all the 15 seats in the by-election if they want to keep BJP away from power.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of former Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel MLAs from the Assembly, but maintained that the Speaker does not have the power to bar the disqualified MLAs from contesting by-elections.
The apex court also ruled that the Speaker's decision to bar the 17 rebel MLAs from contesting elections till 2023 was invalid.