Karnataka bypolls | BJP wrests both Sira, Rajarajeshwarinagar

BJP party workers celebrate outside the counting centre, as the results being announced at Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly bypoll, in Bengaluru on November 10, 2020.

BJP party workers celebrate outside the counting centre, as the results being announced at Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly bypoll, in Bengaluru on November 10, 2020.

The ruling BJP wrested Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituencies from Opposition Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress, respectively, in the byelections that were held on November 3.

Though the elections had little consequences on the stability of the BJP government, the results, declared on Tuesday, further consolidated the party with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at the helm. Personal prestige of several party leaders coming into play in the bypolls had made the fight look tight, but in the end, the BJP romped home with comfortable margins.

The two-time legislator from the Congress whose resignation had necessitated the byelection in R.R. Nagar, Munirathna, polled 1,25,734 votes as the BJP candidate to win by a margin of nearly 58,000 against Congress candidate and first-timer Kusuma H., who ended up with 67,798 votes.

JD(S) candidate V. Krishnamurthy finished a distant third with 10,251 votes.

The margin of victory for Mr. Munirathna is higher than that in the 2018 Assembly elections, when he (then in the Congress) had defeated the BJP candidate by about 26,000 votes. The JD(S) put up a poor show when compared with the 2018 elections when it had polled 60,000 votes.

In Sira, considered part of the Vokkaliga heartland, the BJP opened its account. C.M. Rajesh Gowda, a doctor, political debutant and son of three-time Chitradurga MP C.P. Moodalgiriyappa, defeated six-time legislator and former Congress Minister T.B. Jayachandra by a comfortable margin of nearly 13,000 votes. While Dr. Gowda polled 74,522 votes, Mr. Jayachandra garnered 61,573 votes. The JD(S) candidate, Ammajamma, whose husband B. Sathyanarayana’s death had necessitated the byelection, could get only 35,982 votes.

The swing in Sira in favour of the BJP has been massive, while the JD(S) has lost heavily. The Congress vote share has remained intact here.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the bypoll victories “extremely special”. “It reaffirms the people’s unwavering faith in the reform agenda of the Centre and State Government under @BSYBJP Ji,” he said.

The run-up to the elections had seen leaders of the Opposition trading charges of use of money and muscle power, and misuse of government machinery that had been vehemently denied by ruling party leaders. The poll arena had become tense as KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar, facing his first elections after his elevation, was eyeing for consolidation of Vokkaliga votes, which had been resented by JD(S) leaders H.D. Deve Gowda and H.D. Kumaraswamy, who were trying to retain their hold on the community leadership. The Sira election had become intense with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son and BJP vice-president B.Y. Vijayendra camping there and attempting to repeat the feat achieved in K.R. Pet bypolls nearly a year ago.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 5:46:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-bypolls-bjp-leads-in-sira-rajarajeshwari-nagar/article33063926.ece