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Monday, May 10, 2021

Karnataka bypolls: BJP wins Belagavi, Basavakalyan; Congress takes Maski

Of the three, the by-election at Belgaum (Belagavi) Lok Sabha constituency was the lone contest that went down the wire.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 3, 2021 6:43:22 am
Turvihal, Mangala Angadi and Sharanu Salgar

As the votes of the recenly held bypolls to three seats in Karnataka, including a Lok Sabha segment, were counted on Sunday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party won two constituencies while the Opposition Congress emerged victorious in one.

Of the three, the by-election at Belgaum (Belagavi) Lok Sabha constituency was the lone contest that went down the wire. BJP candidate Mangala Suresh Angadi won by a thin margin of 5,240 votes against Congress candidate Satish Jarkiholi who gave her a tough fight till the last few rounds of counting. However, the final margin is yet to be declared by the Election Commission (EC). It can be recalled that Mangala’s late husband and former Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi had won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the same segment by a margin of over 3.91 lakh votes.

However, the Congress did not wait for the final figures approved by EC to admit defeat. “I thank the people of Karnataka who have voted for us in large numbers & we pledge to keep raising people’s voice against BJP Govt,” Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar tweeted.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Sharanu Salagar won from Basavakalyan in Bidar district, while Congress’s Basanagouda Turvihal emerged victorious from Maski in Raichur district. Salagar, who was pitted against Mala B Narayan Rao — wife of former MLA late Narayana Rao — had secured a clear lead right from the first round of counting. While his lead at 11.30 am was by 7,355 votes, it grew steadily to clinch him a win by a margin of 20,629.

As per the final figures, Salagar secured over 71,012 votes against Rao, who managed to get 50,383 votes. “We thank the voters of Basavakalyan assembly for blessing our candidate Mala B Narayana Rao with over 50,000 votes. We accept the mandate of the voters and promise to work harder to win their faith in the next election,” a statement from the party read.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa expressed his gratitude to the voters in the constituency following the win. He tweeted, “Congratulations to Sharanu Salagar, our candidate who has won the confidence of the people of the constituency.”

However, JD(S) candidate Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri could get only 11,042 votes, despite the party expecting a three-way contest at the only constituency it decided to filed a candidate from, this time around.

Accepting the mandate, H D Kumaraswamy expressed gratitude to those who voted for party candidate Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri. “I will remain supportive of the party workers and leaders who worked for the party during the bypolls,” Kumaraswamy said.

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Basanagouda Turvihal, pitted by the Congress against BJP’s Pratapgouda Patil, won at Maski. According to the Election Commission, the Congress candidate secured 86,337 votes to win with a comfortable margin of 30,606. Patil, meanwhile, polled 55,731 votes.

Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah termed it a “landslide victory”, thanking voters. Further, he requested workers to avoid celebrations amid the ongoing pandemic. Shivakumar echoed the sentiment as he remarked, “Please follow all Covid-19 protocols and continue to help people. This is a time for service but not celebration.”

Speaking to reporters in his constituency, Patil expressed disappointment that voters did not vote for the BJP “despite implementing several developmental works.” He added, “The party will introspect on the reasons behind this defeat.”

As per final figures issued by EC on April 17, Belgaum witnessed a 56.02 per cent voter turnout while the same at Basavakalyan and Maski were at 61.58 per cent and 70.46 per cent respectively.

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