Bengaluru: The stage is set for bypolls in 15 Assembly constituencies across Karnataka, with 165 candidates remaining in the fray after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended on Thursday. 

Of the 165 candidates, only nine are women. In fact, in Gokak, Shivajingar, KR Pet, Hunsur, KR Puram, Hirekerur, Ranebennur, and Athani constituencies, there are no women in the fray. 

Ironically, in Gokak, Vijayanagar, and Chickballapur segments, there are more women voters than men.

The day was not without a drama as two of the JD(S) candidates Guru Dasyala in Athani and Lingayat seer Shivalinga Shivacharya in Hirekerur, withdrew from the race while another candidate Ashok Poojari contesting from Gokak bucked the pressure to stay in the race.

According to the Election Commission, of the 218 candidates whose nomination papers were in order, 53 withdrew their nominations. KR Pet and Yellapur constituencies have the least number of candidates in the fray that is seven, while Shivajinagar has the highest with 19 candidates in the fray. The voters in Shivajinagar and Hoskote will have two ballot box units as the number of candidates exceed 15.

As many as 37.77 lakh voters, including 18.52 lakh women, will be exercising their franchise in the 15 constituencies. According to Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar, the number of voters was updated till the last date for submission of nominations (November 17), and that the number is very large for a bypoll.

The voters will include 20,818 persons with disabilities and 414 of the third gender. Young voters those aged between 18 and 19, constitute 79,714 of the total voters.

Yellapur, with 1.72 lakh voters, has the least number of electorate for a constituency and KR Puram, with 4.87 lakh voters, has the highest voters among the constituencies going for bypolls. 

In all, 4,185 polling booths will be set up, of which 20% has been mapped as critical booths. While there will be 12 booths manned by persons with disabilities, 34 Sakhi booths to be manned by women will be established. Three have been declared as tribal booths.