Karnataka MLC Polls 2021: Polling is underway in Karnataka for the biennial election to 25 Legislative Council seats from 20 Local Authorities’ Constituencies. Altogether, there are 90 candidates in the fray for the 25 seats. The voting started at 8 am and will go on till 4 pm. The results will be declared on December 14.
The election is being held for two seats each from the local authorities constituencies of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru; and one each from Bidar, Gulbarga, Uttara Kannada, Raichur, Bellary, Chitradurga, Shivamogga, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Tumakuru, Mandya, Bangalore, Bangalore Rural, Kolar and Kodagu.
While the BJP and the Congress have fielded 20 candidates each, six candidates are from JD(S), 33 are independents and the rest are from smaller parties. There is only one woman candidate from Chickmagalur.
The electorate for this election comprises elected members of urban and rural local bodies and a winner is decided by preferential votes. The polls are being held as the 25 sitting members will complete their term on January 5 next year. Of the 25 MLCs, 14 are from Congress, seven from BJP and four from JD(S). The polls are crucial in the view that the ruling BJP wants to gain a majority in the 75-member upper house. Of these 25 seats, the BJP needs 13 to establish its majority in the upper house.
The ruling BJP is looking to bounce back in the polls after it suffered a loss in the Hangal bypoll which comes under Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s home district of Haveri.
While the saffron party has exuded confidence of winning the majority of the seats, the Congress is also confident that it will be able to prevent the BJP from gaining the majority in the upper house. The JD(S) has said that it will emerge victorious on all the six seats it is contesting.
There were rumours of an alliance between the JD(S) and the BJP for the MLC polls but it was denied by H D Kumaraswamy. He said that local leaders have been authorised to take a decision on whom to support in the seats where his party is not contesting, keeping in mind the prospects for the 2023 assembly election, reported the PTI.