The Election Commission (EC)on Saturday announced bypolls for 15 out of 17 vacant seats in Karnataka Assembly which will be held on October 21.
This comes after 17 rebel MLAs in the JDS-Congress government in the state were disqualified by KR Ramesh after they resigned. This paved the way for the BJP to stake claim to form government in Karnataka.
All the 17 rebel lawmakers had challenged the disqualification in the Supreme Court, but the Speaker’s order was not stayed by the top court. The top court is yet to pronounce its judgment on the plea of the 17 lawmakers to allow them to contest the bypolls.
The matter will be heard in the top court on Monday.
However, bypolls for 2 of the 17 Karnataka assembly constituencies — Maski and RR Nagar — have not been announced by EC as separate election cases related to these constituencies are pending in Karnataka High Court.
Meanwhile, JD(S) chief HD Devegowda said his party and Congress will not contest bypolls together. He said his party will announce how many seats they will contest. However, they “have had enough of ”, he said, no matter if they win or lose.
The disqualified Karnataka MLAs were alleged to have banked on BJP’s promise of giving them ministerial berths in the BS Yediyurappa cabinet.
As Yediyurappa, who was sworn in for the fourth time as Karnataka Chief Minister in July this year, the bypolls will be a test of strength.