Karnataka Assembly bypoll dates for 15 constituencies were announced by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka Sanjeev Kumar on Sunday, but attention of all political parties in the state is focussed now on the Supreme Court, which would deliver its judgment in the case of disqualified MLAs. The bypolls are slated on December 5, while the counting of votes will be held on December 9.
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has already come into force from Monday (November 11). The date for filing nominations are from November 11-18, said the chief electoral officer (CEO).
Over 37 lakh 50 thousand voters, including 19.12 lakh male voters and 18.37 lakh female voters along 399 under others category, will decide the fate of candidates in the upcoming Karnataka bypolls.
According to the CEO, a total of 4185 polling booths will be set up for the bye-elections and a total of 22,958 polling personnel will be required for the smooth conduct of the elections which will be done using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPATs).
The Karnataka bypolls were earlier slated for October 21, but it was postponed to December 5 as the case pertaining to the disqualification of 17 MLAs was pending in the Supreme Court.
Notably, Seventeen MLAs, formerly of the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular, had withdrawn their support in July from the coalition government formed by their parties - leading to its collapse. Before it fell, the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 MLAs stating that they could not contest elections until the end of the current assembly term in 2023.
The MLAs approached the Supreme Court for relief. If they are allowed to contest elections, and become MLAs once again, then the ruling BJP may reward them with ministerial berths or plum posts for their role in helping it to come to power.
In the 224-member Karnataka assembly, the BJP currently has 105 MLAs and the support of one independent.