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Karnataka bypolls: BJP sweeps Bengaluru, Shivajinagar lone bright spot for Congress

Congress lost two of their seats — Yeshwantpur and KR Puram — and JD(S) one — Mahalakshmi Layout — to the saffron party.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: December 9, 2019 10:03:01 pm
BJP-win-Malleshwaram-Bangalore-bypolls-Bengaluru-Karnataka BJP won three seats out of 4 in Bengaluru as the Karnataka bypolls results were announced on Monday. (Express Photo/Ralph Alex Arakal)

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday won big in bypolls held to 15 constituencies in Karnataka, with the results in capital city Bengaluru replicating the state-level trend.

BJP secured three seats in Bengaluru — Mahalakshmi Layout, KR Puram, and Yeshwantpur — where disqualified MLAs from the former Congress-JD(S) coalition were fielded after they joined the saffron party on November 14.

READ| BJP govt retains majority after winning 12 of 15 seats; 11 defectors re-elected

Interestingly, the highest win margin recorded in the state was from KR Puram, where B A Basavaraja (popularly known as Byrathi Basavaraj) won with a margin of 63,443 votes. He defeated Congress candidate M Narayanaswamy to record a hat-trick from the constituency.

Basavaraj, who was a close aide of former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, had won the seat in 2013 and 2018 by a margin of over 32,000 and 24,000 votes respectively. His 2018 win was aided with the party capturing six of the nine local body seats.

Meanwhile, former JD(S) MLA K Gopalaiah emerged victorious in Mahalakshmi Layout, a constituency in northwest Bengaluru. He won against M Shivaraju, a Congress BBMP corporator from Shankar Mutt ward, by a margin of 54,386 votes.

Gopalaiah had won the 2013 assembly elections with a margin of 15,370 votes. The margin rose to 41,100 votes in 2018, a vote share of over over 55 per cent. Improving his performance this time, he secured 58.65 per cent of the vote share in the constituency.

With this defeat, the JD(S) has lost its only seat in Bengaluru to the saffron party.

In Yeshwantpur, Congress defector and another close aide of Siddarmaiah, S T Somashekhar, won on a BJP ticket. He recorded a winning margin of 27,699 votes against JD(S) candidate T N Javarayi Gowda.

Congress candidate P Nagaraj was reduced to 15,714 votes as the party’s vote share in the constituency fell to a meagre 5.52 per cent.

However, the Congress heaved a sigh of relief in Shivajinagar, where Rizwan Arshad won against BJP candidate M Saravana by a margin of 13,521 votes.

Seven-time MLA Roshan Baig’s absence had opened up new possibilities in Shivajinagar, but Congress managed to maintain the seat as their two-time Lok Sabha candidate from Bangalore Central emerged victorious this time.

While Rizwan Arshad secured 49,890 votes (53.56% vote share), BJP candidate Saravana recorded 36,369 votes giving a tight competition to his Congress counterpart.

Interestingly, JD(S) candidate and party’s national spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed Ullah was reduced to 1,098 votes. NOTA votes (986) in the constituency came close to his tally.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, BJP’s Karnataka bypolls in-charge and Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavalli said, “The people of Karnataka have chosen to pick a single-party government to stay away from unnecessary coalition woes. The support that these candidates got even though the Supreme Court termed them disqualified indicates the public aspiration for a stable government.”

With Congress losing two of their seats and JD(S) losing one to the saffron party, Bengaluru is now a BJP-dominated area.

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