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Karnataka by-polls: BJP wins 7, leading in 5 out of 15 seats, gets simple majority in state assembly

17 MLAs who were earlier disqualified by the former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in July were allowed by the Supreme Court to contest in the by-polls.

The counting of votes for the 15 assembly constituencies that went for by-polls in Karnataka are going on and the ruling BJP has won 7 of the 15 seats. Congress has won 2. The BJP, which needed 6 seats to retain the majority, has now attainted it.

As BJP workers and leaders are seen celebrating, Congress leader DK Shivakumar has declared that his party accepts defeat. BJP is leading in another 5 seats and is expected to win 12 seats in total. JDS has scored nil.

It is notable that the 17 MLAs who were earlier disqualified by the former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in July, were allowed by the Supreme Court to contest in the by-polls. Bypolls were conducted for 15 assembly constituencies as the 2018 election results of 2 seats are being challenged in the Karnataka HC and the verdict is awaited.

The apex court had held the disqualification order but had disagreed on the duration of disqualification and had held that the MLAs will face re-election. The 15 assemblies went into by-polls on December 5.

All MLAs were from Congress and JDS who had later decided to support the BJP. The 15 MLAs were all given BJP tickets.

Read: Supreme Court upholds disqualification of 17 ‘rebel’ MLAs in Karnataka, allows them to contest elections

To retain power in the state, BJP needs to win at least 6 seats out of the 15. Following the disqualification, the strength of the assembly was reduced to 208, where BJP holds the simple majority of 105. It has the support of independent MLA H Nagesh.

The BJP candidates are leading from the Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennurm Vijayanagara, Chikkaballapur and the Mahalakshmi Layout seats. Congress is leading in Hunasuru and Shivajinagar constituencies while the JDS is leading in Yeshvanthpura and Krishnarajpete seats. The independent candidate Sharath Kumar Bachegowda is leading from the Hosakote seat.

The Congress and JDS together now hold 101 seats, they will need to win at least 12 seats to get the majority numbers. BS Yediyurappa’s four-month-old government has stated that they are confident of winning the majority.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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