Displeasure within the party has cost the Congress its first big seat in Karnataka as Congress rebel leader and BJP MP candidate, Y Devendrappa, is leading by a huge margin in Bellary. Congress candidate and sitting MP V S Ugrappa is trailing by over 50,000 votes.
Bellary is from where Sonia Gandhi had made her electoral debut. She took on Sushma Swaraj in 1999 and won the seat but gave it up for Amethi.
The seat where bypolls were held as recently as November last year (2018), after Sriramulu gave up the seat post his victory from Monkalmuru, had Ugrappa defeating the BJP candidate and Sriraamulu’s sister, J Shantha, by a margin of around 2 lakh votes.
Devendrappa is also loyal to the rebel among the Jarkiholi brothers, Ramesh Jarkiholi, and this is said to have been a strong reason for him being chosen as a BJP candidate. In fact, he had quit the Congress just ten days before the announcement of his candidature from the saffron party.
This victory is a huge dent for the Congress in Karnataka as 6 out of the 8 assembly seats are held by the Congress.
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