The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has given a stunning performance in the bypolls in Karnataka, and is set to retain the government in the state. The Congress is leading in two seats, whereas an independent candidate is ahead in one.
“Voters have blessed us in 12 of the 15 seats. We have won because of the efforts of party workers and our leaders. I would like to thank our national leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
“There was trouble due to instability. Now with results I hope Congress and JD(S) will co-operate with us to provide good governance for next 3.5 years,” he added. PM Modi and Amit Shah congratulated Yediyurappa for the results.
BJP candidate from Yellapur Arabail Shivaram Hebbar defeated Congress’ Bhimanna Naik by a margin of over 31,000 votes, poll officials said.
A two-time Congress MLA from Yellapur, Hebbar was among 13 disqualified MLA whom the BJP had given ticket to contest the bypoll as party candidate. “The people of state have responded to the disqualification. People have given a response, the BJP will emerge victorious across the state,” said Hebbar.
Another BJP candidate Narayana Gowda pulled off an upset victory against JD(S) candidate Devraj in K R Pete. The constituency is considered as a fortress of JD(S).
This is the first time that BJP has won a seat in the heartland of Vokkaligas, a community which has traditionally supported the JD(S); former chief minister HD Kumarawamy is a Vokkaliga.
“The victory is sweeter as my father native place Bookanakere is in the constituency,” Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra said.
Another BJP candidate BC Patil has emerged victorious in Hirekepur.
“The BJP has done well across the state. Voters have reposed confidence in our government and its policies,” said Deputy CM R Ashoka.
The Congress has managed to win the Hunsurseat where HP Manjunath has defeated BJP’s A H Vishwanath.
“We have suffered a minor setback in Hunsur. We will examine reasons for it. However, I am very happy that the BJP is winning 12 of the 15 seats,” said Ashwath Narayan, the second deputy chief minister.
The JD(S), which ran the previous government along with Congress, is trailing in all the seats where is fielded its candidates.
The bypolls were necessitated because of the resignation of 17 legislators from the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in July. These MLAs had joined the saffron fold and the BJP fielded 16 of them in Thursday’s bypolls.
The BJP needed to win six of the 15 seats on which the elections were held. After the disqualification of the MLAs by the Supreme Court for joining the BJP, the strength of the house was reduced to 208. The halfway mark too was revised to 105 – the number which the BJP had.
After the bypolls, the strength of the state Assembly went up to 224, and the halfway mark revised to 112. Now the party seems to have secured that number.
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