Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has swept the byelections to the Karnataka Legislative Council by winning all three seats for which elections were held recently. The Congress has fared badly in the direct contest in which the Janata Dal (Secular) refrained from contesting, to extend support to the Congress.

All the three BJP candidates — former Minister for Horticulture Shashikant Akkappa Naik (Belgaum), Shivaraj Sajjan (Dharwad) and S.G. Medappa (Kodagu), defeated their respective Congress rivals and won by a handsome margin. The bypolls were necessitated following the resignation of Basavaraj Bommai (JD-U-Dharwad), Balachandra Jharkiholi (JD-S-Belgaum) and Arun Machaiah (Independent-Kodagu). They had resigned to contest the Legislative Assembly elections held in May.

The Janata Dal (S) and the Janata Dal (U) had held one seat each. The third seat was held by an independent who later crossed over to the Janata Dal (S). Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and State unit president of the BJP D.V. Sadananda Gowda told The Hindu that the BJP had continued to register electoral supremacy despite all charges being levelled against it by the Opposition. The byelections to the Council are the first after the BJP Government assumed office on May 30.

More In: Today's Paper