Bengaluru, Sept 21: The election commission today announced byelections to 15 out of 17 Karnataka assembly segments that fell vacant two months ago after 14 Congress and 3 JD(S) MLAs were disqualified by speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
The elections will be held on October 21 and results will be announced on October 24. The election commission has however not announced elections for R R Nagar and Maski assembly segments and he reasons are yet to be known.
The decision of the election commission to hold bypolls has come as a shocker for disqualified MLAs as hearing on their petitions questioning the speaker's verdict will start only from September 23 (Monday). If they don't get any relief from the Supreme Court on Monday by way of either quashing the speaker's decision or staying it, then their hopes of contesting byelections will be dashed.
This is highly unlikely that the court would give its verdict on the case on Monday itself as the arguments are yet to start. Keeping this in mind, the disqualified MLAs are likely to request the court on Monday to give an interim verdict on their disqualification so that they can contest the bypolls.
These bypolls are also crucial for the ruling BJP to be in power as they have to win at least 7 seats to cross the half way mark in the 224 member assembly. Now the BJP has 106 MLAs including independent H Nagesh. The BJP could form the government as the strength of the house came down to 208 after the disqualification of 17 MLAs.
Disqualification of MLAs: Bypolls to 15 seats in Karnataka on Oct 21