As many as 248 candidates, including 128 independents are in the fray for the 15 assembly by-elections in Karnataka on December 5, a poll official has said.
"The 248 candidates have filed 353 nominations by November 18 evening, which was the last date for submitting the papers to contest in the by-elections across the state," the poll official told IANS on Monday night.
The nominations will be scrutinised on November 19 and last date of withdrawal is November 21.
Vote count is on December 9.
The BJP and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are contesting in all the 15 seats separately that will lead to triangular fights.
The by-elections have been necessitated due to the disqualification of the 14 Congress and 3 Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel legislators after they resigned from their respective assembly seats in July in protest against the former coalition government's functioning.
Though former assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified 17 rebels lawmakers on July 25-28 for reportedly defying their party whip, bye-polls in Muski (Raichur district) and R.R. Nagar (Bengaluru southwest) have been withheld due to litigation in the Karnataka High Court over their results in the May 2018 assembly elections.
The bye-elections will be held in Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, K.R. Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, K.R. Pete and Hunsur.
The former ruling allies (Congress and JD-S) are contesting the bye-polls separately as decided after the collapse of their 14-month coalition government on July 23 following the defeat of its chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's trust vote on the floor of the assembly in the absence of the rebels for voting in favour of the confidence motion.