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Karnataka bye-elections results LIVE updates: Counting begins, crucial test for Congress-JD(S) alliance

Written by PaperDabba

JD(S) Leader H D Kumaraswamy with Congress leader D K Shivakumar. (File photo)

The counting for votes for three Lok Sabha — Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya — and two assembly constituencies — Ramanagara and Jamkhandi — in Karnataka, which went to the bypolls on Saturday, has begun at five centres, one each in five constituencies, with a total of 1,248 counting staff deployed. An estimated 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the bypolls for five constituencies.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made and police have been deployed around the counting centres and strongrooms, where the EVMs are placed, to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the counting of votes, police officials said.

The Karnataka bypolls, seen as a crucial test for the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine as they face their first major political test since forging an alliance five months ago, are significant as the coalition partners have termed it a “prelude” to the 2019 General Elections. They have also 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 in Karnataka has predicted its fall once the results are out.

Counting of votes begins to Shimoga, Bellary and Mandya Lok Sabha seats and Ramanagara and Jamakhandi legislative assembly seats.

Welcome to our LIVE blog. The results for the three Lok Sabha — Ballari, Shivamogga and Mandya — and two assembly constituencies — Ramanagara and Jamkhandi — in Karnataka, which went to the bypolls on Saturday, has begun. Results will be announced today. Follow to get the latest updates. 

A total of 31 candidates were in the fray from all the five constituencies, though the contest is mainly between the Congress-JDS combine and the BJP. The bypoll results will determine the fate of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita Kumaraswamy, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra and former Chief Minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa and others.

Anita Kumaraswamy is expected to have a smooth sail in Ramanagara, the seat vacated by her husband after BJP nominee L Chandrashekhar withdrew from the contest and rejoined the Congress.

Among the interesting things that one needs to watch out for is to what extent BJP would be able to make inroads into the JD(S) bastion of Mandya and the Congress stronghold of Jamkhandi. Of similar interest would be to what extent the Congress will be able to regain its significance in its erstwhile party stronghold of Ballari, the seat earlier won by its top leader Sonia Gandhi.

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