Voting began in 15 Assembly segments in Karnataka where by-elections are being held to fill the vacancies caused by the resignation and disqualification of the 14 Congress and 3 JD-S rebels in July, an official said.
"Polling began at 7:00 am in all the 15 Assembly constituencies amid tight security to elect the new legislators. Voting will be allowed till 6:00 pm," an Election Commission official told IANS.
By-elections are being held in Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, K.R. Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara, Hosakote, K R Pete and Hunsur Assembly seats.
The 15 constituencies have nearly 38-lakh eligible voters, including 19.25-lakh men and 18.52-lakh women.
"The Election Commission has declared paid leave for the voters working in public or private offices to exercise franchise in their polling stations," asserted the official.
As many as 165 candidates, including 126 Independents and 9 women are in the fray in the 15 Assembly seats.
The BJP and the opposition Congress are contesting in all the 15 assembly seats, while the JD-S only in 12 seats.
The 3,185 polling stations have a total of 8,326 ballot units and 8,186 controlling units and 7,876 VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) for casting the ballots.
The vote count is on 9 December.
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