Bengaluru: Voting for bypolls in 54 Assembly seats is underway on Tuesday morning, as polling began at 7 am.

An election official said, polling began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm, adding authorities are taking steps to check the spread of COVID-19 during voting.

According to the Election Commission, voting will conclude at 6 pm while adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions. The last hour of voting will be for COVID-19 patients and people suspected to be suffering from the disease.

A total of 355 candidates, including 12 ministers, are in the fray.

Voter turnout of 11.48% was recorded till 10 am in Madhya Pradesh by-elections. 

11.52% turnout was recorded till 10 am in polling for by-elections to eight seats of Gujarat Assembly. 

Meanwhile, 6.90% voter turnout was recorded till 10 am in bypoll underway for two assembly seats in Karnataka - Sira and Raja Rajeshwari Nagar. 

The bypolls in the central Indian state are crucial for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government's stability as the Congress is hoping to return to power. The Congress needs to win all the 28 seats, with most of the seats in the Gwalior-Chambal, to gain a majority in the Assembly. In the 230-chair Assembly, the ruling BJP has 107 MLAs, Congress 88, BSP 2, and Samajwadi Party one. There are four Independents.

Congress' CM Kamal Nath had to vacate the office in March because of the rebellion of Jyotiraditya Scindia who led a revolt. In Gujarat, polling is taking place for eight seats - Abdasa, Limdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada (ST), Karjan, Dangs (ST) and Kaprada (ST). The seats fell vacant after sitting Congress MLAs quit before the Rajya Sabha elections in June.

In Uttar Pradesh, polling is taking place in seven constituencies -- Naugaon Sadat, Bulandshahr, Tundla, Bangarmau, Ghatampur, Deoria, and Malhani. In Karnataka, bypolls are being held for the Sira and Raja Rajeshwari Nagar seats. Bypolls are talso taking place for two seats each in Odisha (Tirtol and Balasore Sadar), Jharkhand (Dumka and Bermo), Nagaland (Southern Angami-I and Pungro-Kiphire).

In Telangana, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh, polling is taking place for Dubbaka, Baroda seats, and Marwahi seats, respectively.

An official said thermal guns, N-95 masks, disposable masks, face shields and an equal number of rubber hand gloves have been procured for the staff deployed for polling.

The counting of votes will take place on November 10, when results for Bihar Assembly elections will be announced.