"We will win with a lead of 25,000-30,000 votes in most of the constituencies and according to our estimate, we are confident of winning all 15 seats", Yediyurappa told reporters on Saturday.
P. Manjunath is leading by 31,018 votes over Congress candidate Adagooru. The counting of votes, polled on December 5 started at 8 AM in 11 centers and a final picture is expected to be clear by noon. The trends were based on the counting of postal ballots, which is set to conclude before 9 am.
The elections were left vacant after the legislators resigned in July, triggering the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition and paving the way for the BJP to come to power.
After a dramatic stand-off that included a showdown at a Mumbai hotel, the MLAs who quit were disqualified by then-Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and barred from elections till 2023. The BJP would only be able to keep the numbers in its favour if it is able to get at least six of the 15 seats now under grab. Of the total 15 seats, 12 were held by the Congress and three by JD (S).
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In the Assembly with the current strength of 208 after disqualifications, the BJP has 105 MLAs (including an independent), the Congress 66 and the JD (S) has 34 MLAs.
The results of the bypoll were crucial for the four-month-old BJP government in Karnataka, led by BS Yeddyurappa government, as the ruling party required at least seven seats in the 223-member Assembly for a simple majority, with 112 as the halfway mark. There is also one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker. Including the Chief Minister, now there are 18 ministers in the cabinet, whose sanctioned strength is 34.
Election officials have made all arrangements, including security for smooth and transparent counting. Prohibitory orders restricting assembly of people around the counting centre and activities that could disturb law and order have been clamped, PTI reported. However, with the party looking to win in at least 10 seats, if not more, the government is likely to face zero threat. Even people have the same expectations from us, he said. The party leadership, including former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy, has been changing its stance from unilaterally announcing support to the BJP government to hoping for renewal of ties with the Congress.