The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday registered a thumping victory in the Karnataka by-elections, winning 12 out of the 15 Assembly seats, and secured a comfortable majority in the House with Congress managing just two and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) failing to open its account.
With these results, the BJP now has 117 MLAs and there are now 222 legislators in the state Assembly. The four-month-old government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has a majority in the 224-member House, getting to the magic number of 112.
The Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S), had a dismal performance in the bypolls, failing to win a single seat. An Independent has won one seat.
The Congress now has 68 MLAs while JD-S has 34 legislators in the House.
Shivaram Hebbar of the BJP has won over Bhimanna Naik of the Congress by over 31,000 votes on Yellapur seat while BJP’s K Sudhakar emerged victorious from the Chikkaballapur constituency beating Congress’ M Anjanappa by over 34,000 votes.
In Vijayanagara constituency, Congress’ VY Ghorpade lost to BJP’s Anand Singh by more than 30,000 votes.
BJP’s Shrimant Balasaheb Patil trumped Congress candidate with over 18,500 votes in Kagwad, while Jarkiholi Ramesh Laxmanrao of the BJP defeated Congress’ Lakhan Laxmanrao Jarkiholi with over 29,000 votes on Gakok seat.
On Hirekerur seat, BJP candidate defeated BC Patil Bannikod Basappa of the Congress with a margin of over 29,000 votes.
At Yeshvanthapura, BJP’s ST Somashekar defeated JD-S candidate TN Javarayi Gowda with over 27,600 votes.
In Shivajinagar constituency, Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad got the better of BJP’s M Saravana with a margin of 13,521 votes.
On the other hand, HP Manjunath of Congress emerged victorious over BJP’s AH Vishwanath with a margin of 39,727 votes.
Independent candidate Sharath Kumar Bachegowda defeated BJP’s N Nagaraju from Hosakote constituency with 11,486 votes.
The elections were held for 15 Assembly seats which were left vacant after the legislators resigned in July, triggering the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition led by HD Kumaraswamy and paving the way for the BJP to come to power. Resignations tendered by the disgruntled MLAs had reduced the majority mark in the 224-strong Assembly to 104.
Ahead of the counting, Yediyurappa had said that BJP will win at least 13 seats and the government will be “safeguarded”.
Congress’ poor performance in the by-polls led to Siddaramaiah resigning as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP). He has submitted his resignation to interim party president Sonia Gandhi.
Senior Karnataka Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao also followed suit, resigning as the state party unit chief.
As the BJP marched ahead during counting, Yediyurappa thanked the voters for reposing their faith in the party and said he would now continue to provide a “stable and pro-people government” in the state. (ANI)