Karnataka Assembly Elections 2019: Voter turnout 18.50% till 12 PM

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 05, 2019, 11.43 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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As many as 37.78 lakh people were expected to cast their votes in 4,185 polling stations. There are also 4,711 service voters.

Karnataka recorded 18.50 per cent polling till 12 pm in the by-elections on Thursday, said the Election Commission of India.

The polling in the 15 assembly constituencies in the state began peacefully at 0700 hrs on Thursday.

The voting began on slow peace and it would be pick up later in the day.

As many as 37.78 lakh people were expected to cast their votes in 4,185 polling stations. There are also 4,711 service voters.

The constituencies going to by-polls were Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijayanagar, Chikballapur, KR Puram, Yeshwanthpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, Hoskote, KR Pet and Hunsur.

These by-polls are crucial for all three major parties - BJP, Congress and JD(S) - contesting them. Apart from BJP and Congress which have fielded candidates in each of the 15 seats, there are over 100 independents. JD(S) is contesting on 12 seats going to the by-polls today.

In July, the Congress-JD(S) coalition government led by former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy collapsed after 17 of its MLAs resigned. The resignations also reduced the majority mark in the 224-strong Assembly to 104.

The BJP with its 105 MLAs formed the government in the state. Now with by-polls on these vacant seats, the majority mark would increase.

At present, there are 207 MLAs in Karnataka Assembly with 104 required for a majority. With the election of 15 MLAs, the number of MLAs in the Assembly would go to 222. With that, the ruling party would require 112 MLAs for a majority in the Assembly.

Elections for two other seats will be held in the future which will take the majority mark to 113.

(With inputs from ANI)