Bengaluru: Politicos made a beeline at polling booths to exercise their franchise across 15 Assembly constituencies. Security has been heightened across the state to assure no mishap takes place.

BJP candidates Ramesh Jarkiholi and AH Vishwanath cast their votes in Gokak and Hunsur Assembly constituencies respectively. Chikkaballapur BJP candidate K Sudhakar with his wife exercised their franchise. 

Sharath Bachegowda who was denied a BJP ticket is now contesting as an independent candidate. Speaking to media he said even though he is the youngest of the candidates and contesting as an independent, he is not a loner. 

K Gopalaiah in Mahalakshmi Layout and Byrathi Basavaraj in KR Puram cast their votes. Zameer Ahmed Khan also stood in the queue to cast his vote.

Setting an example, an old and aged couple turned up to cast their votes early in the morning in Hoskote. They are RN Rangappa (88) and Sarojamma (85). An old disabled man too exercised his franchise in Hoskote. 

However, a verbal spat broke out between the Congress and BJP party workers in one of the polling booths in Hoskote.   

It’s a litmus test for BS Yediyurappa’s government and the disqualified MLAs as by-polls are being held in 15 Assembly constituencies across Karnataka.

BJP needs to win at least eight seats to retain its majority in the 225-member assembly, which would still have two vacant ones in Maski and RR Nagar. The BJP currently has 105 MLAs (including an independent) while the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular have 66 and 34 respectively. There is also a Bahujan Samaj Party member, a nominated member and the Speaker.

The constituencies where by-polls are being held are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapur, Hirekerur, Ranebennur, Vijayanagar, Chikkaballapur, KR Puram, Yeshwanthpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, Hoskote, KR Pet and Hunsur. The JD(S) and the Congress are contesting the polls separately, their alliance lying in tatters after its collapse on the floor of the house. While the BJP and the Congress have fielded candidates in all 15 seats, the JD(S) is contesting from only from 12.