Neither the ruling Congress nor the BJP gained in the bypolls to three seats in Karnataka. The BJP had held two of those seats and the Congress one, an equation that remained unchanged as the two exchanged a pair of seats and the BJP retained the third.
At Hebbal, Bengaluru, Congress veteran C K Jaffer Sharief’s grandson Abdul Rehaman Sharief lost a second successive time despite the Congress leadership having put its might into the campaign. Rehaman Sharief, who was chosen amid differences of opinion in the leadership, lost to the BJP’s Y A Narayan Swamy. In 2013, he had lost to the BJP’s Jagadeesh Kumar, who died in 2015.
Former BJP MLA Shivanagouda Nayak won back Devadurga, which he had lost in 2013 to the Congress’s Venkatesh Naik, now deceased. The Congress compensated by wresting Bidar from the BJP, with former MLA Raheem Khan winning by 22,721 votes.
Siddaramiah said he bowed to the verdict of the people but added the results would have no bearing on his majority government. “We tried to win all three and expected to bag at least two. We will introspect about the losses,” Home Minister G Parameshwara said.
State BJP president Prahlad Joshi said the results were a vote against Siddaramaiah’s arrogance. Leader of the BJP in the assembly Jagadish Shettar said the results indicate the future course politics will take in the state.
JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said he hadn’t wanted to field candidates against the monetary might of the Congress and BJP but was forced to do so by party workers. “The results cannot be used to infer results for the assembly polls in 2018. Congress has lost one seat and gained one seat. BJP has maintained two seats,” the JD(S) leader said.