The results of the December 5 bypolls to 15 assembly seats in Karnataka will be declared on Monday and will have a bearing on the future of chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s government
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) needs to win six out of the 15 to be in majority since it also enjoys the support of an Independent lawmaker.
It currently has the simple majority of 105 in the 208 member assembly.
The strength of the assembly was reduced following the disqualification of 17 lawmakers, whose resignations in July toppled the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government.
The two parties have a combined strength of 101 seats. They will have to win at least 12 seats and come together to overturn the Yediyurappa government.
The leaders of the ruling party have expressed confidence that they would be able to retain power in Karnataka, days after their oldest ally in neighbouring Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, parted ways with the BJP to form a government in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Deputy chief minister C N Ashwathnarayan said the BJP would win a maximum number of seats, adding that a stable and strong government would continue in the state.
The BJP fielded 13 of the disqualified legislators, who joined the party after the Supreme Court’s verdict, in the bypolls. They had won these seats in the 2018 assembly elections on Congress and JD(S) tickets.
The Congress held the 12 of the 15 seats and the JD (S) the remaining three.