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Congress-JD(S) blow to BJP, saffron party loses in Ballari

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Karnataka Bypolls

The by-elections came as a major setback for the main opposition BJP ahead of the 2019 elections with the party losing the Ballari Lok Sabha seat, over which the brothers once had a vice-like grip, had remained a BJP stronghold since 2004.

Bengaluru: In an emphatic endorsement of Karnataka's ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition by the voters, its candidates Tuesday won both the assembly constituencies and two of the three Lok Sabha seats in the bitterly fought by-polls held on Saturday.

The by-elections came as a major setback for the main opposition BJP ahead of the 2019 elections with the party losing the Ballari Lok Sabha seat, considered a stronghold of the controversial mining barons — the Reddy brothers.

Mine-rich Ballari, over which the brothers once had a vice-like grip, had remained a BJP stronghold since 2004. V S Ugrappa of the Congress won the Ballari seat by a margin of more than 2.43 lakh votes defeating BJP's J Shantha, the sister of B Sriramulu, a key aide of the Reddys and former MP from there.

Sriramulu is considered a close confidant of Janardhana Reddy, but the BJP had distanced itself from the mining baron in the May assembly polls.

In Shivamogga, the pocket borough of the leader of the Opposition and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, his son B Y Raghavendra trounced his JD(S) rival Madhu Bangarappa by 52,148 votes in a closely-fought contest. Madhu is the son of former Congress chief minister, the late S Bangarappa.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha bagged the Ramanagara assembly seat by a big margin of 1,09,137 against her nearest rival BJP's L Chandrashekar, who had pulled out of the contest, but still officially remains the party candidate. Chandrashekhar, who had joined the BJP ahead of the polls returned to the Congress weeks later, leaving the saffron party red-faced and the field open for a walkover for Anitha Kumaraswamy.

Ramanagara seat fell vacant after Kumaraswamy preferred to retain Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won.  In Jamkhandi assembly segment, Congress candidate Anand Nyamgouda defeated BJP's Srikant Kulkarni by a margin of 39,480 votes, riding a sympathy wave following his father and sitting MLA Siddu Nyamagouda's death in a road accident.

JD(S) candidate L R Shivarame Gowda scored a big victory in Mandya, defeating BJP's Siddaramaiah, a political green horn and a former civil servant by a margin of 3,24,943 votes.

Mandya is a stronghold of the Vokkaliga community to which JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda belongs.

Cong-JD(S) say they will contest 2019 LS polls together
Bengaluru:
Buoyed by the victory in the bypolls, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao Tuesday asserted that they would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together against the BJP. The two leaders gave credit for the electoral success to the policies of the Congress-JD(S) coalition, which bagged two Lok Sabha seats and two assembly segments in the by-elections held on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy hailed the people for their support to the coalition government of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress and said the two parties would contest the 2019 polls together in all the 28 constituencies in the state.

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