JD(S)-Cong trounces BJP 4-1 in K’taka by-elections

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Nov 2018 08:16:41



IN A Diwali gift ahead of 2019 general election, the JD(S)-Cong coalition on Tuesday worsted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 4-1 in the Karnataka by-elections, winning two Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies, while conceding the Shimoga parliamentary seat to the BJP.
It was a resounding victory for the ruling coalition in just six months after the May 12 Assembly elections, which had returned a hung verdict, forcing the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular to come together to form a coalition Government on May 23.

Hailing the victory, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy called for Opposition parties to unite under the leadership of Congress President Rahul Gandhi to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the next year’s Lok Sabha elections, as people were looking for an alternative.

While the JD(S) and the Congress won the Mandya and Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seats, they also bagged the Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi Assembly seats.
The Congress scored a major victory wresting the BJP’s citadel in Bellary (reserved) Lok Sabha seat, where its Shantha by a margin of 2,43,161 votes. Ugrappa polled 6,28,365 votes against 3,85,204 secured by Shantha, sister of BJP leader B Sriramulu, a close associate of the controversial mining Reddy brothers.

The by-election was held in the Lok Sabha constituency, which was a BJP bastion since 2004, after Sriramulu resigned following his election to the State Assembly from Molakalmuru (reserved) seat in the adjacent Chitradurga district in May. Bellary in the Southern State’s North-West region shot into national fame when then Congress President Sonia Gandhi won in the 1999 mid-term Lok Sabha elections, defeating BJP’s Sushma Swaraj.

Sonia, however, resigned from Bellary within weeks to retain the Rai Bareily Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh as she had contested from both the constituencies.

The BJP had pulled all stops during the campaigning to ensure a victory for Shantha, who represented the constituency from 2009-14. In the JD(S) stronghold of Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, its candidate L Shivarame Gowda won by a huge margin of 3,24,943 votes over BJP’s Siddaramaiah. Gowda polled 5,69,347 against 2,44,404 by the latter.

The vacancy was caused by JD(S) C Puttaraju, who resigned on being elected to the Assembly from Melukote in Mandya district in the May 12 State polls. The BJP, however, managed to win only the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat where its former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra defeated JD(S) nominee Madhu Bangarappa, son of former Chief Minister late S Bangarappa, by 52,148 votes majority. Raghavendra polled 5,43,306 votes against 4,91,158 by Madhu. Yeddyaruappa resigned from Shimoga on getting elected to the Assembly from the Shikaripura segment in the same district in the Malnad region, causing the vacancy.