Bengaluru: Polling for the Karnataka Legislative Council biennial election to two teachers and two graduates constituencies got underway on Monday morning.
Former speaker of the Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti, who joined BJP from JD (S), former Minister Prakash Hukkeri among others are in the fray.
Ruling BJP, buoyed by winning three seats in Rajya Sabha elections, is upbeat about performance in these elections. The results will be declared on Wednesday.
The polling is being held between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. across 607 polling stations. A total of 2.84 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The elections are being held for North-West Graduates, South Graduates, North-West Teachers and West Teachers constituencies. The ruling BJP and opposition Congress have put up candidates in all constituencies and JD (S) is not contesting in North-West Graduates constituency.
The results are decisive for the ruling BJP to hold the majority in the 75-member Legislative Council. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has involved himself in extensive campaign exercises for BJP candidates.
Basavaraj Horatti is contesting for the West Teachers constituency. It is a do or die situation for him which will determine his future political career. He has been elected from the constituency 7 times and he is seeking 8th term. The fight has become tough and interesting as a section of BJP leaders are unhappy about Basavaraj Horatti’s move of joining the party.
He is contesting against Basavaraj Gurikar of Congress and Shrishail Gadadinni of JD (S). If not for the insider’s role, Basavaraj Hiratti is expected to register a win.
Young BJP leader Arun Shahapur is seeking reelection from North-West Teachers’ constituency. He is facing tough competition from Congress candidate, former minister Prakash Hukkeri. JD (S) has put up Chandrashekar Esappa Loni.
Former MLC M.V. Ravishankar of BJP is contesting against Madhu G Made Gowda of Congress and H.K. Ramu of JD (S) in South Graduates’ constituency.
North-West Graduates’ constituency is seeing a direct faceoff between ruling BJP (Nirani Hanumant Rudrappa) and Congress (Sunil Annappa Sanak).
33 independent candidates are also trying their luck in 4 constituencies making competition even more interesting. Ruling BJP held 2 and JD (S) held 2 seats earlier. The second preferential votes are expected to play a decisive role this time according to experts.
The elections are also seen as run up to the upcoming Assembly elections of 2023 to the state legislature and major political parties have taken it as a matter of prestige to ensure victories of their candidates.