Campaigning for the Monday election to the Jayanagar Assembly segment in Bengaluru ended on Saturday, with candidates wooing the electorate for their valuable vote at the hustings. The vote count will be on June 13.
Polling in the prestigious seat was countermanded due to the death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.
The BJP nominated Kumar's younger brother B.N. Prahlad as its candidate.
Withdrawal of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) contestant Kalegowda from the fray on June 5 in support of the Congress nominee Sowmya Reddy has made the electoral battle a straight contest between the two national parties.
Sowmya is the daughter of former state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy.
The Congress, which won from the RR Nagar Assembly segment on May 31, hopes to wrest the Jayanagar seat from the BJP, aiming to take its tally to 79.
Thought the coalition partner won 78 seats in the May 12 election, death of its re-elected legislator Siddu Bhimappa Nyamgoud from Jamakhandi on May 28 has kept its strength at the same number even after the RR Nagar win.
In all, 19 candidates, including nine Independents, are in the fray. The other woman candidate in the contest in Nayeema Khanum of the Praja Raita Raajya Paksha.
Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm across 216 polling booths. There are a total of 312,252 registered voters in the Assembly segment.
Meanwhile, the JD-S-Congress coalition government plans to start working from Monday, as most of the cabinet ministers went to their constituencies for the weekend.
"As government offices are closed on second Saturday and the support staff were also on leave at the state secretariat in Bengaluru, the 25 new cabinet ministers will work from Monday," a senior official told IANS, preferring anonymity.
Of the 25 ministers, 14 are from Congress and 9 from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and one each from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha (KPJP), which are allies of both the coalition partners.
Though all the cabinet ministers took oath on Wednesday, portfolios were allocated on Friday night, as many of them were vying for high-profile posts between the alliance partners.