Bengaluru, Oct 28 : Polling for the four Legislative Council seats began in Karnataka on Wednesday morning amid Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The four constituencies registered a little more than 7 per cent votes till 10:00 am.
Polling began at 8:00 am and will continue till 5:00 pm. The Election Commission has modified timings due to the pandemic situation. The counting of votes will be held on November 2.
According to an Election official, poll percentage till 10 a.m. of Karnataka North-East Teachers' (Kalaburagi) recorded at 8.34 per cent, Bangalore Teachers' constituency registered 10 per cent, Karnataka South-East Graduates (Bengaluru) constituency 7 per cent and Karnataka West Graduates' (Belagavi) constituency registered 7.49 per cent.
The election assumes significance for the BJP as it lacks a majority in the Council to pass the crucial Bills. Much to the embarrassment the ruling BJP could not pass the farm Bills and labour reforms amendment Bills in the recently held Legislature session as it could not get through the Upper House despite getting passed in the Assembly.
The Council polls are taking place due to the retirement of R. Chowda Reddy Thoopalli, S. V. Sankanur, Sharanappa Mattur and Puttanna in June this year.
As many as 40 candidates are in fray in these four constituencies. Among them are the four whose retirement on June 30 warranted the elections. There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who will cast their franchise in as many 549 polling stations in these constituencies.
Security has been beefed up at the polling stations. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in and around the booths.
The Election Commission has directed the returning officers to ensure that face masks and social distancing should be maintained by the staff as well as the voters.
Following the guidelines, arrangements have been made for hand sanitisers and thermal screening at all the booths. There are medical teams deployed around the polling centres as well.
In the Council with strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP has 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) has 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.