Karnataka By-Polls: BJP Wrests Both Seats From Opposition, Breaching Congress-JD(S) Fortresses
Though RR Nagar and Sira are not traditional strongholds of the BJP, the party managed to breach the Congress-JD(S) bastion.
In keeping with the trend in the rest of the country that went to by-polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka managed to add numbers to its kitty winning both the RR Nagar and Sira assembly seats.
Both seats were traditionally not a stronghold of the BJP, with opposition parties Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) having held one seat respectively for as long as voters remember. Yet, in a repeat of its performance in the by-polls in December, the party managed to breach the fortress of Congress and JD (S).
In Sira, where the party was fielding a debut candidate in Dr C M Rajesh Gowda, managed to have a margin of over 12,949 votes. This was a seat where the last elections saw the BJP’s S R Gowda manage to gather a total of 16,959 votes while the JD(S) candidate Satyanarayana, whose demise necessitated this election, had won securing 73,338 votes.
The Congress candidate and former minister T B Jayachandra had been the runner up with 63,793 votes. The runner up status was maintained this time around too, as Jayachandra managed to poll 61,753 votes.
And the JD(S) has had a loss of face in a Vokkaliga dominated seat where the community has around 60,000 votes, with their candidate securing a distant third having won just 35,982 votes.
The ruling party’s second victory was as ‘expected’ as the BJP candidate N Munirtana was a defector and ‘sitting MLA’ who had jumped fences during the mega political drama that brought down the previous coalition government.
He managed to win the seat for the third consecutive time, the previous two times contesting from the Congress. He defeated his rival and widow of deceased IAS officer D K Ravi, Kusuma H by a margin of 57,672 votes while her total vote count was 67,798.
The margin is way larger than his own past two stints as he had won with 17,000 and 26,000 votes previously. But keeping the trend of Chikkaballapura and K R Pete (both Vokkaliga seats), the BJP managed to wrest these seats with the nouveau BJP candidates bringing their loyalist vote bank with them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate BJP Karnataka in Kannada and said that the this ‘reaffirms’ the ‘steadfast trust’ people have in the Centre and B S Yediyurappa’s “reform based governance”. He thanked the karyakartas for their efforts and the people for their support.
The BJP also won three out of four council seats that went to polls recently making it the largest in the legislative council with 31 seats while the Congress has 29 in the 75-member house.
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