Polling for eight constituencies in the by elections to the Karnataka Assembly began on Saturday.
Around 9,500 security personnel have been deployed at Hukkeri, Arabhavi, Devadurga, Karwar, Turuvekere, Madhugiri, Doddaballapur and Maddur constituencies where polling began at 7 am.
Fate of 73 candidates, including state Ministers Balachandra Jarakiholi, Anand Asnotikar, K Shivanagowda Naik, Umesh Katti and Anita, wife of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, making her debut into poll politics, would be decided in the by-polls.
Widow of JD(S) leader M S Siddaraju, whose death caused the by-election in Maddur, is banking upon the sympathy factor for her maiden entry into the state assembly in this constituency in Cauvery heartland.
The by-elections were necessitated due to defections by seven MLAs three Congress and four JDS to the BJP and the death of Siddaraju.
The other notables whose poll furtunes would be decided by the 13.69 lakh electorate include former minister C Chennigappa in Madhugiri, who is taking on Anita, Congress MP R L Jalappa's son J Narasimhaswamy in Doddaballapur and D C Thammanna.
Counting of votes will be taken up on December 30.
The Election Commission was forced to deploy two EVMs in Madhugiri where 25 candidates are contesting.
The bypolls will witness a triangular fight between the ruling BJP, opposition Congress and JD(S).