Karnataka

Yediyurappa firms up strength as BJP sweeps Karnataka bypoll

BJP loyalists celebrate the victory of their party in the Karnataka Assembly bypolls at their State headquarters, in Bengaluru on December 9, 2019.

BJP loyalists celebrate the victory of their party in the Karnataka Assembly bypolls at their State headquarters, in Bengaluru on December 9, 2019.   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

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Party wins 12 out of 15 seats; Siddaramaiah, Gundu Rao quit Congress party posts

The ruling BJP led by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa firmed up its majority in the Karnataka Assembly with a victory in 12 out of 15 constituencies that went to bypolls. The results declared on Monday saw Congress managing to win just two seats, while Janata Dal (Secular) drew a blank.

Of the 13 disqualified legislators from the Congress and the JD(S) fielded by the BJP, 11 retained their seats from the new party. The victory not only assures stability to its government, but also makes 76-year-old Yediyurappa stronger within the party.

Following Congress’s dismal show, two top leaders of the party announced their resignations, owning moral responsibility.

Siddaramaiah quit as leader of the Congress Legislature Party, while Dinesh Gundu Rao stepped down as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief. The Congress secured victory only in Shivaji Nagar (Rizwan Arshad) and Hunsur (H.P. Manjunath).

Yediyurappa firms up strength as BJP sweeps Karnataka bypoll
 

The only two defectors to the BJP to be defeated were former Congress MLA Nagaraj (MTB), who lost in Hoskote to BJP rebel and Independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda, and former JD(S) State unit president A.H. Vishwanath, who lost to Congress candidate and former legislator H.P. Manjunath.

New inroads

Significantly, the saffron party has made an entry into the Vokkaliga heartland with the victory of two-time legislator K.C. Narayan Gowda in K.R. Pet Assembly constituency in Mandya district.

The party also opened its account in Chikkaballapur with two-time legislator K. Sudhakar retaining his seat. Though the Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha seat is represented by BJP leader B.N. Bache Gowda, the party had not won this seat so far.

A triumphant Yediyurappa told presspersons that the victory has brought big responsibility on the party, and appealed to the opposition Congress and JD(S) not to continue destabilising his government.

He said the party would honour the promise of ensuring ministerial berths to the defectors who have now won on BJP ticket. He is set to leave for New Delhi soon to discuss the issue with the party high command.

In all, 17 legislators — 14 from Congress and 3 from JD(S) — had resigned in July, bringing down the 14-month-old JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka and bringing the BJP to power.

Elections were not held for Raja Rajeshwari Nagar and Maski Assembly constituencies because of pending election malpractice-related petitions in the court.

The party had not given ticket to two other disqualified legislators Roshan Baig in Shivajinagar and R. Shankar in Ranebennur. The former has not been admitted into the BJP.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:50:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yediyurappa-firms-up-strength-as-bjp-sweeps-karnataka-bypoll/article30259995.ece

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