As counting of votes polled in the December 5 Karnataka bypolls to 15 assembly constituencies is underway, the ruling BJP has taken an early lead in 10 out of 15 Assembly constituencies. Initial trends showed the Congress and JD(S) were ahead in two seats, while independent candidate was maintaining lead in Hoskote. The by-elections are considered a litmus test for four-month-old B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state as it needs to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in majority in the 225-member assembly.
The Karnataka election results are expected to be out by the afternoon. The bypolls, held on December 5, were necessitated after 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs were disqualified after their revolt against the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July. The collapse of the coalition led to the BJP coming to power under Yediyurappa. Twelve of the 15 seats were held by the Congress and three by JD(S).
An estimated 60 per cent of the total 3.8 million electors cast their vote in the Karnataka by-elections. Most exit polls have predicted a smooth victory for the BJP. Congress, on the other hand, is predicted to bag less than five seats in the Karnataka by-elections.
As per early trends, BJP is leading in ten seats, while Congress is leading in two seats.