Bangalore, Aug 24 (PTI): Counting of votes for the August 21 by-election to three Assembly seats from Karnataka will be held on Monday with the outcome being a test of popularity and prestige for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and BJP Vice-President B S Yeddyurappa.
Both the ruling Congress and BJP fought a hard battle in the first measure of popularity after the Lok Sabha polls in the constituencies of Chikodi-Sadalaga, Bellary Rural and Shikaripura.
Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said that elaborate security arrangements have been made in the counting centres in three districts. A number of observers would be deployed at the counting centres to supervise and oversee the process, he said.
Counting will begin at 8 am and end around 1 pm for the three constituencies in which 22 candidates are in the fray.
The poll outcome would be a big test for Siddaramaiah as the Congress, hit by the Modi wave, had not turned up an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls, bagging only nine of the 28 seats and conceding 17 to BJP which was not in a good shape after it lost power in the 2013 Assembly polls, losing its first ever government in the South.
JDS had bagged two Lok Sabha seats.Of the three constituencies, Congress is holding Chikkodi-Sadalga and BJP Shikaripura and Bellary Rural. The Congress went on an overdrive during the elections not only to retain its seat but also to wrest seats held by the BJP.
It is also a prestigious fight for Yeddyurappa, a former Chief Minister, as his son B Y Raghavendra is contesting from Shikaripura, his pocket borough from where the BJP strongman has won seven times.
The seat fell vacant after Yeddyurappa, representing Shikaripura, got elected to Lok Sabha from Shimoga, the seat Raghavendra held earlier.