The by-elections in Karnataka are to be held on December 5, as per the announcement by Chief Election Officer Sanjeev Kumar during a press conference on November 10.The moral code of conduct has come into force in all the districts going to bypolls, starting from today.
The bypolls—scheduled to be held on October 21 earlier—were postponed by the Election Commission. The decision was taken following the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of the 17 disqualified MLAs, who had resigned, toppling the government led by H D Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal (Secular). Their resignations were accepted by the then speaker, Ramesh Kumar, following which they were disqualified. This meant that these ministers can not contest the bypolls. However, the speaker’s decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by the disqualified ministers.
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The Supreme Court had deferred the case and thus the EC had decided to defer the elections till the verdict was out. The Court is expected to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday. So, there is no clarity yet as to whether the disqualified MLAs can contest the elections.
The process for filing nominations started today and will end on November 18. However, the Chief Election Officer Sanjay Kumar made it clear that all the 29 nominations received before the deferring of elections would remain valid.
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The constituencies going to poll are Athani, Kagwad and Gokak of Belagavi district; Yellapur in Uttara Karnataka; Hirekerur and Ranebennur in Haveri district; Vijayanagar in Ballari; Chickballapur; K.R. Puram, Yeshwantpur, Mahalakshmi Layout and Shivajinagar in Bengaluru urban; Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural; K.R. Pet in Mandya and Hunsur in Mysuru.
Maski in Raichur district and R R Nagar in Bengaluru are not going to polls on December 5. As The Hindu reported, separate election cases related to these constituencies are pending in the High Court of Karnataka.
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government now has 105 MLAs and outside support from an independent. After the bypolls for 15 seats, the BJP would need to win at least eight seats in the bypolls to reach the magic number of 113 in the 225-seat Assembly. The Congress had won in 11 of these constituencies, BJP in three and Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha won one seat in the 2018 elections.