An estimated 6.06 per cent of voting took place during the first two hours since polling began in 15 assembly constituencies going to bypolls in Karnataka on Thursday.
According to voter turnout figures available till 9:26 am, highest turnout of 9.01 per cent was recorded in Hoskote, while the lowest was in Shivajinagar with 3.04 per cent.
BJP candidates including Byrathi Basavaraj of KR Puram, Gopalaiah of Mahalakshmi Layout, ST Somashekar of Yeshwanthpura were among the early voters at their polling booths.
BJP rebel and independent candidate in Hoskote- Shahrath Bachegowad, also cast his vote early, accompanied by his family members.
Turnout in constituencies going for bypolls till 9:26 am: Athani- 8.33 per cent, Kagwad- 6.94, Gokak- 6.11, Yellapur-7.54, Hirekerue- 5.59, Ranebennur- 6.22, Vijayanagara- 6.5, Chikkaballapur- 6.91, K R Puram- 4.04, Yeshwanthpura- 4.19, Mahalakshi layout- 8.21, K R Pete- 6.2, and Hunsur- 6.18.
People were seen standing in queues to cast their votes at various polling booths in different parts of the state, but the number was not big.
The by-elections are being held to fill the vacancies caused by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose rebellion led to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for the BJP to come to power.
The BJP needs to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in majority in the 225-member assembly (including the Speaker, who has a casting vote), which would still have two vacant seats -- Maski and R R Nagar.
A total of 37,77,970 electors are eligible to cast their votes at 4,185 polling stations in 15 constituencies going for polls.
There are also 4,711 service voters. Among the eligible electors 19,25,529 are men, 18,52,027 women and 414 others. A total of 79,714 are young voters. A total number of 165 candidates are in the fray for bypolls from all the 15 constituencies, out of them 156 are
men and 9 are women.
Among the major political parties in the state, BJP and Congress have 15 candidates each in the fray, while number of JD(S) candidates is 12, and remaining are from smaller parties and independents.
Out of 15 assembly segments going to by-polls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S).
BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators who had joined the party, as its candidates from their respective constituencies from where they had won in the 2018 assembly elections on Congress and JD(S) tickets.