BJP sweeps bypolls in Karnataka, Yediyurappa govt retains majority

PTI

Hubballi: BJP supporters offer sweets to a cut-out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the party won in 12 out of 15 assembly constituencies of Karnataka securing the position of Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state, in Hubballi, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Hubballi: BJP supporters offer sweets to a cut-out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the party won in 12 out of 15 assembly constituencies of Karnataka securing the position of Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state, in Hubballi, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The ruling BJP swept the by-elections winning 12 of the total 15 seats, helping the four-month-old B S Yediyurappa government to retain a majority in the Assembly.

Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and State Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao quit their posts after the party posted a poor show, winning only two seats, as against the 12 it had held of the 15 which went to bypolls on December 5.

Both tendered their resignations to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, “citing unsatisfactory results.”

The Congress managed to win only Hunasuru and Shivajinagar seats, while independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda, who was earlier expelled from the BJP for anti-party activities after he contested the bypoll as a rebel, won in Hoskote.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led JD(S) that had won three seats in the previous election- KR Pete, Mahalakshmi Layout and Hunsur- drew a blank.

The bypolls were held to fill the vacancies caused by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose revolt led to the collapse of the 14-month-old HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for BJP to come to power.

With BJP winning 12 of the 15 assembly constituencies, the party’s numbers will go up from 105 (including an independent) to 117, which is well ahead of the halfway mark of 111 in a 223-member Assembly (two seats– Maski and RR Nagar– are vacant due to pending litigation in the High Court).

The BJP needed to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in a majority.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had won the confidence motion on July 29 after the effective strength of the 225- member assembly (including the Speaker who has a casting vote) came down to 208 and the majority mark to 105, equivalent of BJP’s current strength, following the disqualifications.

As of now, the BJP has 105 MLAs (including an independent), the Congress 66 and the JD(S) 34. Besides, there is one BSP member, a nominated MLA and the Speaker.

The 12 BJP candidates who won are: Arabail Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapura), Narayana Gowda (KR Pete), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad), Mahesh Kumthalli (Athani), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Arun Kumar Guttur (Ranebennur), S T Somashekar (Yeshwanthpura) and Byrathi Basavaraj (K R Puram).

Congress candidates who have won are Rizwan Arshad (Shivajinagar) and HP Manjunath (Hunasureu).

(PTI)