Bengaluru: Voting is underway in the biennial election to the Karnataka Legislative Council from two graduates’ and an equal number of teachers’ constituencies on Monday, which is witnessing an intense contest.
The polling which began at 8 AM will go on till 5 PM, poll officials said.
A total of 49 candidates are in the fray for the polls, including four women.
The ruling BJP and the principal opposition Congress have fielded one candidate each in all the four constituencies: North-West Graduates’, South Graduates’, North-West Teachers’, and West Teachers’.
While the JD(S) has candidates in the fray in three constituencies other than the North-West Graduates’ constituency, the remaining candidates are all either independents or from unrecognised parties.
A total of 2,84,922 voters are expected to cast their votes in about 607 polling stations in the elections to four MLC seats.
Counting of votes will take place on June 15.
The elections to the four seats of the Upper House of Karnataka Legislature have been necessitated as the term of BJP’s Nirani Hanamant Rudrappa (N-W Graduates’) and JD(S)’ K T Srikante Gowda (S-Graduates’), BJP’s Arun Shahpur (N-W Teachers’) and JD(S)’ Basavaraj Horatti (W-Teachers’) are coming to an end on July 4.
Horatti, who was Chairman of Legislative Council until recently, had resigned from the post to join the BJP, and is now the ruling party’s candidate for West Teachers’ constituency, seeking a record eighth successive term. He is pitted against Basavaraj Gurikar and Shrishail Gadadinni from the Congress and JD(S) respectively.
For N-W Teachers’ constituency, the battle is between Arun Shahpur of BJP, who is seeking re-election against former Congress MLA and MP Prakash Hukkeri and Chandrashekhar Esappa Loni of JD(S); while for the South Graduates’ constituency, former MLC M V Ravishankar of the BJP is taking on Madhu G Madegowda of Congress and H K Ramu of JD(S).
Of the four constituencies, only N-W Graduates seat is likely to see a direct fight between Nirani Hanamant Rudrappa of BJP, who is seeking re-election and Congress’ Sunil Annappa Sank, as JD(S) has not fielded any candidate from the seat.
There are several candidates from unrecognised parties and independents in the fray in all the four constituencies.
The outcome of this poll is crucial for the ruling BJP, to maintain its majority in the 75-member upper house, that it recently gained, following the unopposed election of four of its candidates during the biennial polls for seven MLC seats in the state elected by MLAs, last month.