BJP takes lead in 8 seats in Karnataka bypolls

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 8 of the 15 Assembly constituencies where counting of votes is underway since 8.00 a.m., an official said here on Monday.

“According to initial trends, the BJP is leading in 8 Assembly segments, while the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in two seats each,” poll official G. Jadiyappa told IANS here.

The BJP is leading in Athani, Kagwad, Yellapur, Hirekuru, Chikkaballapur, K. R. Pura, Ranibennur and Mahalakshmi Layout, while the Congress is leading in Shivajinagara and Hunasuru and the JD-S in K.R. Pete and Yeshwanthpur.

The results of the by-elections are crucial for the 4-month-old BJP government in the southern state, as the ruling party requires at least 7 seats in the 223-member Assembly for a simple majority, with 112 as the halfway mark.

Around 67.9 per cent (26 lakh) of the 38 lakh voters cast their ballot in the 15 constituencies to fill the vacancies caused by the resignation of 14 Congress and 3 Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and their subsequent disqualification by former Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar for defying their party whip.

Of the nearly 38 lakh voters in all the constituencies, around 26 lakh voted, with 8 of them in semi-urban and rural areas recording above 75 per cent and 4 seats in Bengaluru registering below 60 per cent.

Hosakote in Bengaluru Rural district recorded the highest voting percentage of 90.90, followed by Chikkaballapur 86.84, Hunsur 80.59, K.R. Pete 80.52, Hirekerur 79.03, Yellapur 77.53, Kagwad 76.24 and Athani 75.37.

The BJP and the opposition Congress contested in all the 15 Assembly seats, while the JD-S in 12 seats.

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