Voting for three parliamentary constituencies and two legislative assembly constituencies in Karnataka began on early on Saturday. The parliamentary constituencies include Bellary, Shimoga and Mandya and the two legislative assembly constituencies are Jamkhandi, Ramanagaram.
The polling is being considered as litmus test for the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in Karnatak. The outcome of Karnataka bypolls is likely to impact state politics to a great extent.
The bypolls are significant as the coalition partners, who have decided to contest them together, have termed it as a 'prelude' to the May 2019 Lok Sabha elections and called for a similar 'grand secular alliance' against the BJP at the national level.
The BJP which has been questioning the longevity of the coalition government has predicted its fall once the by-poll results are out.
Karnataka bypolls: Things you need to know
1) Among the prominent candidates in the fray is Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anita Kumaraswamy, who is expected to have a smooth sail facing avirtual no-contest in Ramanagara after BJP nominee L Chandrashekhar withdrew from the contest and rejoined Congress, giving a jolt days before the polls.
2) While the Congress has fielded its candidates in Jamkhandi and Ballari, JD(S) is contesting in Shivamogga, Ramanagara and Mandya under an electoral understanding.
3) The outcome of the by-polls is expected to have a bearing on the alliance between Congress and JDS for the 2019 polls and also be a factor in determining the respective bargaining power of the two parties.
4) The by-elections have been necessitated after Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga) and Sriramalu (Ballari), and C S Puttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya) resigned as MPs on their election to the assembly in May this year.
5) Bypolls to Jamkhandi assembly seat was caused by the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant after Kumaraswamy gave up the seat preferring Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won.
6) Polling in the bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats - Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya and Ramanagara - and Jamkhandi assembly segments will be held between 7 am to 6 pm Saturday, with a total of 54,54,275 voters eligible to cast their franchise in about 6,450 polling stations.
7) There are a total 31 candidates in the fray in all the five constituencies, though the contest is mainly between the Congress-JDS combine and the BJP.
8) Officials at the state Chief Electoral Officer's office said, a total of 1,502 polling stations had been declared as sensitive.
9) A total of 35,495 polling personnel will be on duty for the bypolls in which 8,922 Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be used.
10) Counting of votes will be on November 6.
(With inputs from PTI)