Bengaluru: Counting of votes began on Tuesday in five bye-elections held on November 3 to fill the vacancies caused in three Lok Sabha and two assembly segments in Karnataka, a poll official said.
"Counting of votes began at 8.00 a.m. in Bellary (ST), Mandya and Shimoga Lok Sabha seats and Jamakhandi and Ramanagara assembly seats," an Election Commission official told IANS here.
According to Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar, a total of 1,248 officials, including supervisors, staff and micro observers were deployed at the counting centres.
Vote count was underway at engineering and government colleges taken up as counting centres.
Around 66 per cent of the 54.5 lakh electorate voted in the five by-elections.
A record 77.17 per cent polling was registered in Jamakhandi, followed by 71.88 per cent in Ramanagara, 63.85 per cent in Bellary (reserved), 61.05 per cent in Shimoga and 53.93 per cent in Mandya.
In all, 31 candidates were in the fray, including five from the Bharatiya Janata Party, three from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and two from Congress, while the remaining are Independents.
Prior to the bypolls, the JD-S held Ramanagara and Mandya seats, while the Congress Jamakhandi and the BJP Bellary and Shimoga.
Prominent among the candidates in the fray were Anitha, wife of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy from JD-S, B. Shantha sister of BJP legislator B. Sriramulu from Bellary (reserved), and B.Y. Raghavendra, son of BJP's state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa from Shimoga.
"As number of votes for counting is less in the twin assembly seats, trends and results is expected earlier than in the three Lok Sabha seats, whose results are expected by late afternoon," the poll official added.