Bypolls to 15 seats in Karnataka on Oct 21 puts Cong-JD(S) rebels in a fix
The elections are crucial for the ruling BJP, which came to power about two months ago. The party has the support of its 105 MLAs and one Independent MLA.Updated: Sep 21, 2019 19:29 IST
The Election Commission put the disqualified former MLAs in Karnataka in a fix after it announced on Saturday that byelections to 15 of the 17 vacant seats in the state would be held on October 21.
The elections are crucial for the ruling BJP, which came to power about two months ago. The party has the support of its 105 MLAs and one Independent MLA. It will need to win at least seven seats to reach a majority in the 225-member House.
The constituencies going to the polls are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Ranebennur, Hirekerur, Yellapur, Vijayanagara, Hunsur, Krishnarajpet, Hosakote, Chikballapura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Yeshwanthpura, Shivajinagar, and KR Pura.
Seventeen MLAs – 14 of the Congress and three from the Janata Dal (Secular) – were disqualified by former Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in July till the end of the term of the House, i.e. till the May 2023 elections assuming the House was not dissolved earlier, for their part in toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
This move came in the aftermath of their mass resignations and failure to attend a floor test in the Assembly that led to the coalition’s defeat. The former MLAs have challenged this order in the Supreme Court.
As challenges regarding the elections to the Maski and Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituencies are already pending before the Karnataka High Court, these two constituencies would not go to the polls, said Sanjiv Kumar, chief election officer for Karnataka.
First Published: Sep 21, 2019 19:18 IST