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Karnataka Lok Sabha polls: BJP faces tough battle in first phase of polling for 14 seats

BJP faces a tough battle in Karnataka’s first phase of polling for 14 Lok Sabha seats on April 18, as arch rivals and now allies Congress and JD(S) have fielded joint candidates for the first time in 30 years to prevent their bankable votes from splitting. Karnataka is the only southern state where BJP has been in power in the past and the party is expected to do reasonably well, despite Congress and JD(S) coming together. Of the 14 seats, Congress is contesting 10 seats and JD(S) 4, while the BJP is contesting 13 seats and supporting multilingual south Indian actress Sumalatha Ambareesh, an Independent, in JD(S) stronghold Mandya. She is up against chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, who is making his electoral debut. Congress and JD(S) have a 21-7 seat-sharing arrangement in the state’s 28 Lok Sabha seats.

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