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Monday, January 17, 2022

Karnataka Legislative Council polls: BJP wins 11 of 25, stops 1 short of majority

The Congress won 11 seats and the JD(S) two, with an Independent taking one of the constituencies.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 14, 2021 9:58:52 pm
Karnataka MLC pollsThe results put the BJP at 37 seats in the 75-member Legislative Council -- one short of a clear majority. (Express photo)

THE RULING BJP won 11 of the 25 Legislative Council seats in Karnataka for which results were declared on Tuesday, stopping just short of a clear majority in the House. The party gained five seats in the elections, while the Congress lost four of the 15 constituencies it held, and the JD(S) two of its four.

The results put the BJP at 37 seats in the 75-member Legislative Council — one short of a clear majority. The BJP was hoping to win around 13 to 15 seats to end its dependency on the JD(S) to get laws passed in the Upper House of the state.

The Congress won 11 seats and the JD(S) two, with an Independent taking one of the constituencies. The Congress now has 25 seats in the Council, down from 29, and the JD(S) 10 instead of 12.

The BJP suffered a setback in the Belagavi region, where a rebel candidate, Lakhan Jarkiholi, contesting as an Independent, defeated sitting BJP MLC Mahanthesh Kavatigamath.

The Jarkiholi family, which has an MLA each in the BJP and the Congress, has been keen to display its political hold in Belagavi since the ouster of Ramesh Jarkiholi from the BJP government in March this year following a sex CD controversy. The Jarkiholis see the scandal as part of a conspiracy involving both Congress and BJP leaders to cut the brothers to size.

The Jarkiholis however did not succeed in their efforts to defeat Congress candidate Channaraj Hattigoli, the brother of Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar, who is a close associate of Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar.

The BJP would now have to wait till June 2022 — when seven more elected members retire from the Legislative Council — to gain control of the Upper House.

Another surprise result was in Ballari, where veteran Congress leader K C Kondaiah, who had given up his Ballari parliament seat in 1999 for Congress president Sonia Gandhi to contest from, lost.

In the Bengaluru Urban region, the Congress’s multimillionaire candidate Yousuf Sharif – who had declared wealth of Rs 1,743 crore – lost to the BJP’s H S Gopinath.

The JD(S) first family of the Deve Gowdas will have a new member in the Legislative Council through Suraj Revanna, who is former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s grandson and former minister H D Revanna’s son. He won from a seat in the family pocket borough of Hassan region. The JD(S) also won a seat on the grounds of second preference in Mysuru.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was in Varanasi on Tuesday for the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath temple corridor, thanked party workers for the performance.

State Congress chief D K Shivakumar said the party had fought unitedly, and this was evident in the votes it got even in the seats it lost.

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said the party lost in strongholds like Mandya on account of BJP votes getting transferred to the Congress. “The strength of the JD(S) remains in the family of Deve Gowda,” Kumaraswamy said.

Over one lakh elected representatives from local bodies in 20 districts voted in the Legislative Council polls. Five of the seats, Belagavi, Bijapur, Mysuru, Dharwad and Dakshina Kannada, saw two winners each in the form of the first and second place winners.


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