Karnataka bypolls: It’s saffron all the way in Haveri district


The BJP has emerged with flying colours in Haveri district by winning the Ranebennur and Hirekerur Assembly seats in the recently- eld byelections.

Counting of votes was taken up in Haveri on Monday. In Ranebeuur, Arunkumar Guththur beat the Congress nominee and former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K.B. Koliwad by 23,211 votes. Mr. Guththur polled 95,408 votes.

In Hirekerur, disqualified MLA and BJP candidate B.C. Patil won by a comfortable margin of 29,067 votes. Mr. Patil got 85,562 votes, whereas the Congress nominee, B.H. Bannikod, garnered 56,495 votes.

It was a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress in both constituencies. The JD(S) had to face humiliation as its candidates in both segments ended up bagging a few hundred votes. All other candidates in both of these constituencies lost their deposits.

The Congress received a major blow in Ranebennur with the defeat of party veteran Mr. Koliwad. Interestingly, the BJP maintained a lead from the initial rounds and was up by 4,414 votes by the fifth round of counting. The lead rose to 10,744 by the 10th round. Mr. Guththur also maintained a comfortable lead in the subsequent rounds and trounced Mr. Koliwad by the 17th round.

It was a major political setback and the second consecutive defeat for Mr. Koliwad. He lost the 2018 Assembly elections to R. Shankar of the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party. Unlike in other constituencies, the BJP fielded a person from its own ranks here, instead of Mr. Shankar even though he joined the party.

Mr. Koliwad, a five-time MLA, canvassed extensively, conveying to the people that it would be his last election. The JD(S) candidate, Mallikarjun Halageri, got a mere 979 votes.

In Hirekerur also, Mr. Patil maintained the lead from the first round and was leading by 8,905 votes by the fifth round against Mr. Bannikod. In the seventh round, his lead jumped to 17,084 votes, and this continued in subsequent rounds.

Party workers celebrated the victory of their candidates by busting crackers and distributing sweets.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:13:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-bypolls-its-saffron-all-the-way-in-haveri-district/article30260510.ece

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