K'taka: MLC elections for four seats on Wednesday under COVID-19 shadow

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Bengaluru, Oct 27 (PTI) Karnataka will go for its first elections on Wednesday for four legislative council seats amid the COVID-19 pandemic scare and the recent flood fury in several parts of the state.

The retirement of the four members of legislative council necessitated the election.

The election should have taken place before June 30.

However, in the wake of the pandemic, it was postponed for an indefinite period. Subsequently, the Election Commission in September decided to conduct the elections on October 28.

These MLC elections are taking place for Karnataka South-East Graduates, Karnataka West Graduates', Karnataka North-East Teachers' and Bangalore Teachers' constituencies, which fell vacant due to the retirement of R Chowda Reddy Thoopalli, S V Sankanur, Sharanappa Mattur and Puttanna respectively.

Forty candidates are trying their luck in the elections in the four seats.

According to the Election Commission, Karnataka South-East Graduates constituency has 1.09 lakh voters who will cast their votes at 187 polling stations.

There are 15 candidates in the fray.

The BJP has fielded Chidanand M Gowda, Congress Ramesh Babu and JD(S) R Chowda Reddy Thoopalli.

In Karnataka West Graduates' constituency there are 11 candidates trying their luck and the fight is between S V Sankanur of BJP and R M Kuberappa of the Congress.

The constituency has 74,268 voters and 146 polling booths.

The Karnataka North-East Teachers' constituency has 29,234 voters who will vote at 147 polling stations.

Five candidates are contesting the elections there but the fight is primarily between Shashi G Namoshi of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Timmaiah Purle of JD(S).

The Bangalore Teachers' Constituency has 22,089 voters who will exercise their franchise at 69 polling booths. The fight is mainly between Puttanna of BJP, Praveen Peter of Congress and A P Ranganath of JD(S).

The election is crucial for the Bharatiya Janata Party as it lacks a majority in the state Legislative Council.

In the council with a strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP -- 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) -- 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.

All those who retired from the council are in the fray again.

The counting of votes will be held on November 2. PTI GMS SS PTI PTI