The ruling BJP in Karnataka today said Congress’ defeat in the by-elections to Gulbarga South and Kadur Assembly constituencies showed that its Bellary padayatra on mining issue was "ineffective".

“The Congress lost in both which shows that the padayatra has been ineffective. They failed to retain even their seat in Kadur which clearly indicates that people want to vote for improvement and have done so,” Home Minister V S Acharya told PTI here.

Reacting to BJP’s defeat in Gulbarga South Acharya said, “We had hoped to win both the seats but the defeat in Gulbarga South was unexpected.” He attributed the victory of JDS candidate Aruna Patil to “sympathy wave”.

In the bypolls held on September 13, BJP’s Y C Vishwanath wrested the Kadur seat but failed to retain Gulbarga South where Patil defeated Congress’s Ajay Singh, son of former Chief Minister Dharam Singh.

The Congress had last month undertaken a 302-km padayatra from Bangalore to Bellary on the issue of illegal mining.

State unit BJP President K S Eshwarappa expressed satisfaction over the results. The outcome had shown the Congress cannot continue to “divide” people in the name of caste, he said referring to the party’s defeat in Kadur.

In Gulbarga South, the electorate have rejected “dynastic politics” by dumping Congress nominee Ajay Singh, he said.

He defended the BJP’s decision to deny ticket to Aruna, wife of late BJP MLA Chandrasekhara Patil Revoor, standing for elections on a JDS ticket, saying she was fielded due to “indiscipline“.

He sought to downplay victory of JDS in Gulbarga by ascribing it to the sympathy factor. The poll verdict was also against the leadership of Siddaramaiah, Dharam Singh and Union Labour Minister Mallikajun Kharge, he claimed.

He said Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa planned to expand his ministry within a month.