The Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said that the Assembly by-election results in five constituencies have clearly shown that the people have reposed faith in the BJP Government.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who returned to Bangalore on Friday after attending the party’s ‘chintan baithak’ in Shimla, told presspersons that the election results clearly indicated that “there is an anti-Congress wave in the State favouring the BJP Government”.
By-elections were held in Govindarajnagar (Bangalore Urban district), Ramanagara and Channapatna (Ramanagara district), Kollegal (Chamarajanagar district) and Chitapur (Gulbarga district) on August 18. Of the five constituencies, four seats were held by the Congress and one by the Janata Dal (Secular). In the by-elections the BJP and the JD(S) won two seats each and the Congress managed to win only one.
“We would have won two more seats had we worked a little harder. I am satisfied with the results,” the Chief Minister said.
The BJP had wrested both the reserved seats -- Chitapur and Kollegal -- from the Congress, which showed that even the weaker sections were in favour of the BJP Government, he said.
The BJP candidate Valmiki Naik wrested the Chitapur seat from the Congress defeating Priyank Kharge, son of Union Labour Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge. Mr. Naik avenged his defeat to Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge in the Assembly elections in 2008. In the Kollegal constituency, the BJP candidate G.N. Nanjundaswamy defeated Congress candidate S. Jayanna, former MLA.
“Both constituencies were considered key constituencies for Mr. Kharge and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah,” the Chief Minister said.
“It was unfortunate that our party nominees in Govindarajnagar and Channapatna were defeated by a narrow margin,” he said, attributing the defeat to “money power, muscle power and the caste factor”.
In Govindarajnagar, Minister for Housing V. Somanna was defeated by Congress candidate Priya Krishna. C.P. Yogeshwar of the BJP lost to M.C. Ashwath of the JD(S) in Channapatna. Both candidates quit the Congress and joined the BJP.
Asked about the future of Mr. Somanna, Mr. Yeddyurappa said, “I will inform you [the media] about it after holding discussions with party leaders tomorrow.” The Chief Minister addressed the press after he visited Mr. Somanna’s residence.
Asked about the setback to the “Operation Lotus” strategy of the BJP, the Chief Minister said, “Our vote share has increased in all constituencies and we have emerged victorious in two seats.”
“I don’t want any certificates from the Opposition. I want the people’s certificate,” he added.
The Ministers B.N. Bachche Gowda, Basavaraj Bommai, C.M. Udasi, Laxman S. Savadi and Govind Karjol were present at the press conference.