BENGALURU: The much-awaited schedule for the by-elections to the three Assembly constituencies of Maski, Basavakalyan and Sindagi were not officially announced on Friday, but Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora’s announcement that the results of all the polls, which could mean including the bypolls in Karnataka, will be out on May 2 gives everyone the hope that these bypolls too would be held before that date. Elections have to be conducted within six months of a seat falling vacant, and Maski and Basavkalyan are close to reaching that limit.
With Arora stating that the Belgaum parliamentary bypoll will be held along with Tirupathi on April 6, there is an expectation that all the three Assembly bypolls too would be held on that day. He did not specifically announce the schedule for Karnataka, but merely said it will be out in a separate notification later.
Analysts wondered if this gives the BJP an advantage in Karnataka as it gives the party-ruled government an opportunity to make poll-targeted announcements in the budget on March 8. The delay could also be a ploy as once the poll dates are out, the model code of conduct would kick in, preventing the government from coming out with schemes for these poll-bound constituencies, they pointed out.
One analyst said that when 15 constituencies faced bypolls in December, the BJP had the advantage of knowing when they would be conducted. Sindagi in Vijayapura district is facing the bypoll as MLA MC Managuli of JDS passed away recently due to Covid; at Maski, incumbent legislator Prathapgouda Patil moved out of the Congress to join BJP and in Basavakalyan (Bidar) Congress MLA Narayan Rao passed away in September.