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Kar assembly bypolls tom

india Updated: Apr 08, 2011 19:58 IST
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Close to five lakh people are eligible to vote in Saturday's bypolls to three assembly seats in Karnataka, winning all of which has become a prestige issue for beleaguered chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

The bypolls in Jagalur in Davangere district, Bangarpet in Kolar and Channapatna in Ramanagaram were necessitated as two Congress and one Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) lawmakers quit the seats to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress and the JD-S have accused BJP and Yeddyurappa of "luring the lawmakers with money and offer of plum posts".

Yeddyurappa and his party have denied the charges and claimed that Congress and JD-S lawmakers were joining BJP "impressed by development work".

The Congress and the JD-S have focused their campaign on corruption and illegal land deal charges against Yeddyurappa. The chief minister and the BJP are banking on 'development' in the state since the party came to power in May 2008.

The Congress held Jagalur and Bangarpet and the JD-S Channapatna. Channapatna is going to polls for the third time in three years, two of them caused by "defection".

CP Yogeshwar won the seat as a Congress candidate in the May 2008 assembly polls but quit to join BJP. He, however, lost to MC Aswath of JD-S in the bypoll in 2009. Aswath too switched over to BJP in October last year, necessitating a third poll in the constituency which has over 187,000 voters.

Yogeshwar is again testing his luck from the constituency as a BJP candidate.

BJP has fielded two Congress lawmakers; SV Ramachandra from Jagalur and M Narayanaswamy from Bangarpet.

Counting is on May 13 when the votes in Tamil Nadu, West Begnal, Assam and Kerala assembly election will also be counted.