Bypolls in Channapatna, Bangarpet on April 9

The polling will be held on April 9 and counting of votes taken up on May 13. The last date for nominations is March 23 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is March  26.

The bypolls have been necessitated after three MLAs, M C Ashwath of the JD(S), S V Ramachandra and M Narayanaswamy (both of Congress) resigned from their respective parent parties and joined the BJP under ‘Operation Lotus’ in October last year.

The resignations of the three Opposition legislators came in handy for the ruling BJP in the numbers game during the trust vote on the floor of the House following rebellion by 11 of its MLAs and five Independents.

Speaker K G Bopaiah disqualified the 11 rebel BJP MLAs and five Independents on October 11. However, the Election Commission has not announced the election dates for these 16 constituencies as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

The bypolls will be a litmus test for the BJP. The ruling party has continued its strategy of seeking the resignation of Opposition legislators to consolidate its position in the Assembly.

Channapatna faces its third Assembly polls in as many years. The constituency had to go for bypoll after C P Yogeshwara, who was elected on a Congress ticket, resigned his Assembly membership to join the BJP in 2009. He lost to JD(S) candidate Ashwath. Ashwath also resigned and joined the ruling party.

The counting of votes will be taken up on May 13 simultaneously with the counting of votes of Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry so that voters in these states may not be influenced by the results of the bypolls in Karnataka.

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