The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that it had decided to postpone the counting of votes for four Legislative Council seats in Karnataka from November 2 to 10.
The decision was taken following a memorandum submitted by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday, appealing that any outcome of Legislative Council polls will have a direct impact on Assembly by-polls to Rajarajeshwari Nagara constituency in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumkuru district which are going to polls on November 3.
The biennial polls to four Legislative council (two graduates and two teachers) seats were held on October 28 amid pandemic fears. Wherein of the total 2.35 lakh voters, nearly 70 per cent electorates had turned up defying pandemic fears.
Conceding to the Congress party’s demand, EC said in its statement that the counting of Council polls can be held after any day after November 3 but it has now decided to hold counting of these Council seats along with counting of two Assembly seats – Sira and RR Nagar – on November 10.
It may be worth noting here that the Council polls took place as these constituencies fell vacant due to the retirement of R. Chowda Reddy Thoopalli of JD(S), S. V. Sankanur of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Puttanna of JD(S) respectively. Of these four recontesting candidates, Puttanna has crossed over to BJP and is contesting on this party ticket.
Despite pandemic, voters’ response was overwhelming in 2020 when compared with 2014 elections held in these seats. Voting percentage rose anywhere between 13.5 per cent to 24 per cent in the constituencies.
As many as 40 candidates’ fates are sealed in ballot units who are in fray from these constituencies. Among them are the four whose retirement on June 30 warranted the elections.
There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.
In the council with strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP has 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) has 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.