Karnataka MLC polls on Dec 10; 90 candidates in the fray


PTI, Dec 9, 2021, 6:19 PM IST

Bengaluru, Dec 9 (PTI) Voting for biennial election to the Karnataka Legislative Council’s 25 seats from 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies will take place on Friday, for which 90 candidates are in the fray.

The polling will be held between 8 am to 4 pm, the results of which will be declared on December 14.

Out of total 90 candidates in the fray, twenty each are from BJP and Congress, six from JD(S), 33 independents and rest are all from smaller parties.

Among the candidates, there is only one woman from Chikmagalur.

According to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, there are 6,072 polling stations, and 23,065 polling officials including micro observers, have been deployed for poll duty.

The electorate for this election comprises elected members of urban and rural local bodies, and unlike legislative assembly or Lok Sabha polls, council contests are decided by preferential votes.

The election is necessitated as the term of 25 incumbent MLCs 14 Congress, seven BJP and four JD(S) will end on January 5 next year.

The poll outcome will have a bearing on the power equation in the 75-member Upper House, where the ruling BJP wants to gain a majority.

Both BJP and Congress have claimed that they will win maximum seats in this election, while JD(S) has expressed confidence about winning all the six seats it is contesting.

With the aim to get a majority in the Council, State BJP strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had openly sought JD(S)’ support for BJP candidates in the seats where the regional party is not contesting.

However, amid buzz about a possible pact with the ruling BJP, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy recently said that local leaders have been authorised to take a decision on whom to support in the seats where his party is not contesting, keeping in mind the prospects for the 2023 assembly election.

The JD(S) has fielded only six candidates, while the BJP and Congress are contesting in 20 seats each.

Interestingly, M K Pranesh, who is Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, Leader of the House and Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, and the ruling side’s chief whip Mahantesh Kavatagimath are seeking re-election in this election from Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Belagavi seats respectively on a BJP ticket.

The candidates in the fray from all the parties in this election had sparked a “nepotism debate”, as several candidates are close relatives of senior leaders from their respective parties.

The polls will also see one more member of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda family entering electoral politics, with his grandson Suraj Revanna being fielded as JD(S) candidate from Hassan.

Congress has fielded a multi billionaire candidate from Bangalore Urban, Yousuf Sharif who has declared assets belonging to him and his family worth over Rs 1,744 crore.

The elections is being held for two seats each from the local authorities constituencies of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru; and one each from Bidar, Gulbarga, Uttara Kannada, Raichur, Bellary, Chitradurga, Shivamogga, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Tumakuru, Mandya, Bangalore, Bangalore Rural, Kolar and Kodagu.

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