With the Election Commission on Tuesday announcing 2 Assembly by-elections in Rajarajeshwarinagar (RR Nagar) in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumakuru district on November 3, Karnataka heads for a keen contest among the ruling BJP, the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The by-election in RR Nagar is necessitated by the resignation of Congress defector Munirathna to the BJP in 2019 and the death of Sira's JD-S legislator B. Satyanarayana on August 5 after prolonged illness here.
The twin bypolls will be notified on October 9 and last date for nominations is October 16, scrutiny on October 17 and withdrawal on October 19. The results will be out on November 10.
Bypoll in RR Nagar could not be held on December 5, 2019 along with by-elections in 15 Assembly segments across the state, as its result in the May 2018 Assembly polls was challenged in the Karnataka High Court by its BJP runner-up Muniraju Gowda on alleged electoral malpractice by Munirathna.
With the court disposing off the case in favour of Munirathana in February, the poll panel has decided to conduct the by-election in RR Nagar along with Sira on November 3 with bypolls in 52 Assembly seats in other states.
In the December 5 by-elections, of the 15 seats, the BJP won 12, the Congress 2 and an independent won 1.
The by-elections were necessitated by the resignation of 14 Congress and 3 JD-S rebels from their Assembly segments in July 2019, which led to the fall of the 14-month JD-S-Congress coalition government on July 23, 2019 after its Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lost the confidence motion he moved in the lower house.
Of the 225-member Assembly, two more seats are vacant -- Muski in Raichur district and Basavakalyan in Bidar district in the northern region.
As in case of RR Nagar, by-election in Muski could not be held on December 5, as its May 2018 Assembly poll result in favour of then Congress rebel Pratapgouda Patil was challenged by BJP runner-up Basanagouda Turvihal over alleged electoral malpractice by the latter.
Patil also resigned from the Assembly seat and joined the BJP in November 2019 along with other 16 defectors from the Congress and JD-S.
The Basavakalyan seat fell vacant following the death of its legislator B. Narayan Rao owing to Covid-19 at a private hospital in Bengaluru on September 24.
( 409 Words)