Bengaluru: Polling began on a sedate note in three Lok Sabha and two Assembly segments in Karnataka for which a by-election was being held on Saturday.
Voter apathy was evident in all the five segments as less than 10 per cent polling was reported during the first hours of polling in all the five Constituencies, reports reaching here said.
Congress-Janata Dal (S) and BJP are in a straight contest in the by-poll. The first two parties, coalition partners in the current state government had decided to jointly fight against BJP.
The by-poll is considered as litmus test to Congress and Janata Dal (S) after the two parties joined together to form the coalition government in Karnataka which had witnessed a hung Assembly in the last election. It is also important for BJP in view of the Lok Sabha election to be held early next year.
Bypoll is being held in Shivamogga, Mandya and Ballari Lok Sabha segments while Assembly by-election is being held in Ramanagara and Jamkhandi seats. While JD(S) has pitted its candidates in Mandya, Ramanagara and Shivamogga, Congress is fighting against BJP in Ballari and Jamakhandi.
B S Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga), B Sriramulu (Ballari) (both BJP and Minister C S Puttaraju (Mandya-JD-S) had quit their LS seats after being elected to Assembly in the 2018 election.
Bypoll was necessitated in Ramanagara as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had contested in two seats -- Channapatna and Ramanagara in the Assembly poll and won from both segments. He opted to retain Channapatna and quit Ramanagara seat. By-poll in Jamkhandi was necessitated due to death of sitting member and former Union Minister Siddu Nyamagouda who was killed in a road accident.(UNI)