The counting of votes is underway for the Jayanagar bypoll in Karnataka. Around two lakh voters had practicsed their franchise at 216 polling booths on Monday to seal the fate of 19 candidates in fray. Polling in Jayanagar was scheduled to be held with rest of the Assembly on may 12 but was countermanded after the death of BJP candidate BN Vijayakumar.
A traditional bastion of Bharatiya Janata Party, the seat is witnessing a direct contest between BJP and Congress after Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) pulled out its candidate. The BJP has fielded deceased BN Vijayakumar's brother BN Prahalad, while Congress is banking on former state home minister Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Sowmya Reddy.
Here are the LIVE Updates:
10:22 am: Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy extends leads over BJP's BN Prahlad by 10,205 votes after round 8 of counting
09:37 am: Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy leads over BJP's BN Prahlad by 5,348 votes in Jayanagar assembly constituency after round 4 of counting, reports ANI
09:28 am: Jayanagar Assembly Constituency Bypoll results: After First Round of counting
The election is crucial for both BJP and Congress as both the parties will seek to strengthen their sensitive numbers in the Karnataka Assembly.
Also read | Jayanagar Assembly bypoll in Karnataka: BJP, Congress locked in direct contest; polling ends, 55% voter turnout recorded
On May 15, the voters had returned a hung assembly in the Karnataka Elections 2018. While BJP emerged as single largest party with 104 seats, it fell short of the half-way mark of 112 in 224-seats Assembly. After a week-long political turmoil, a coalition government on JD(S) and Congress party successfully formed the government in Karnataka. Congress brings 78 seats to the coalition, while JD(S) brings 36.
BJP will aim to sweep the by-election to strengthen its numbers in Assembly and save the traditional stronghold.
Congress will seek increase its strength and undermine any chances BJP might have to gain numbers in the Karnataka Assembly to maintain the delicate alliance.
In the RR Nagar Assembly, where the election was countermanded after the allegations of corruption and fake Voter IDs, the bypoll was won by Congress' Munirathna by a margin of over 25,400 votes. His nearest rival was BJP candidate Tulsi Muniraju Gowda.
JD(S), which had decided to go alone in the RR Nagar bypoll, has lent its support to Congress candidate for Jayanagar bypoll to defeat BJP in its stronghold.
Also read | RR Nagar Assembly Bypoll Counting Result: Congress's Muniratna declared winner