The Bharatiya Janata Party has, by winning 17 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats, registered a spectacular recovery in the State in just about a year after the humiliating defeat in the Legislative Assembly elections.
If the victories in 2008 when it formed the government in the State, followed soon thereafter by a splendid win of 19 seats in the 2009 general elections, were rated high, the BJP has now shown that it is a major force to reckon with in the only southern State where it has continuously improved on its performance since 1991. With many BJP heavyweights making it to the Lok Sabha, the party central leadership will find it tough to choose from among them for a place in the Union Ministry. There are at least four of them — the former Union Minister Ananth Kumar, the former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa and D.V. Sadananda Gowda and State BJP president Pralhad Joshi. Interestingly, Mr. Yeddyurappa has won by a huge margin — nearly 3.62 lakh votes — in Shimoga.
New entrant to politics and first-time candidate Pratap Simha won in Mysore, while Janardhana Swamy, who won from Chitradurga in 2009, lost this time and so did G.S. Basavaraju in Tumkur. The former Minister Shobha Karandlaje registered a thumping victory over K. Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress in Udupi-Chikmagalur. Contrary to expectations that Nandan Nilekani would score a victory in Bangalore South, Mr. Ananth Kumar, five-time MP, cruised to a comfortable win. Among the top Congress leaders, while M. Mallikarjun Kharge won the Gulbarga seat, the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh lost to Bhagavant Khuba of the BJP in Bidar. However, K.H. Muniyappa of the Congress scored a seventh straight victory in Kolar.
The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda (Janata Dal-S) won for the fifth time from Hassan, while his son and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lost to Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily in Chickballapur.
The Janata Dal(S) ended up with a victory in Mandya where C.S. Puttaraju wrested the seat from Ramya of the Congress. It should be noted that the Congress won a total of nine seats — three more than it bagged in 2009.