Bengaluru: Counting for votes for the Karnataka Legislative Council polls for two graduate and two teacher constituency seats got underway on Wednesday, June 15 morning.
Ruling BJP, opposition Congress and regional party JD (S) have fielded their candidates in the polls.
A total of 49 candidates are in the fray which include former speaker of the Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti, who joined BJP from JD (S) and former Minister Prakash Hukkeri.
Buoyed by winning three seats in Rajya Sabha elections, the ruling BJP is upbeat about performance in these elections.
A total of 2.84 lakh eligible voters will elect the representatives of the upper house of the Karnataka legislature. The voting was held across the state in 607 polling stations.
North-West Graduates constituency saw 50 per cent of polling, South Graduates 70 per cent, North-West Teachers 80 per cent and West Teachers constituency saw a turnout of 84 per cent according to the statistics provided by the Election Commission.
The ruling BJP and opposition Congress had put up candidates in all constituencies and JD (S) did not contest in North-West Graduates constituency.
The results are decisive for the ruling BJP to hold the majority in the 75-member Legislative Council. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had involved himself in extensive campaign exercises for BJP candidates.
It is a do or die situation for Basavaraj Horatti who is contesting for the West Teachers constituency. The result will determine his future political career. He has been elected from the constituency seven times and is seeking eighth term. The fight has become tough and interesting as a section of BJP leaders are unhappy about Basavaraj Horatti’s inclusion to the party.
He is contesting against Basavaraj Gurikar of Congress and Shrishail Gadadinni of JD (S). If not for the insider’s role, Basavaraj Hiratti is expected to register a win.
Young BJP leader Arun Shahapur is seeking reelection from North-West Teachers’ constituency. He is facing tough competition from Congress candidate, former minister Prakash Hukkeri. JD (S) has put up Chandrashekar Esappa Loni.
Former MLC M.V. Ravishankar of BJP is contesting against Madhu G Made Gowda of Congress and H.K. Ramu of JD (S) in South Graduates’ constituency.
North-West Graduates’ constituency is seeing a direct faceoff between ruling BJP (Nirani Hanumant Rudrappa) and Congress (Sunil Annappa Sanak).
Thirty-three independent candidates are also trying their luck in four constituencies making competition even more interesting. Ruling BJP held 2 and JD (S) held 2 seats earlier. The second preferential votes are expected to play a decisive role this time according to experts.
The elections are also seen as run up to the upcoming Assembly elections of 2023 to the state legislature and major political parties have taken it as a matter of prestige to ensure victories of their candidates.
(With IANS inputs)