State BJP's day of bypoll cheer, SC tears

State BJP's day of bypoll cheer, SC tears

However, even before it could cherish its victory, the Supreme Court judgment setting aside the disqualification of 16 MLAs has come as a bolt from the blue.

Either the Opposition parties’ strategies have failed or the voters, consciously, have gone with the BJP candidates with the hope of getting the best out of the ruling party for their constituencies.

The Opposition parties’ campaign based on the perceived corruption and nepotism of the chief minister and the BJP’s ‘operation lotus’ has cut no ice with the electorate. The Opposition seems to have learnt no lesson from the previous by-elections, when also the corruption and nepotism charges had had no effect.

On the other hand, Yeddyurappa kept telling voters during his campaign that their constituencies would witness development only if they voted for the BJP nominees.

The ruling party’s triumph was opening its account in Channapatna, considered a JD(S) bastion. Here BJP’s C P Yogershwara trounced the JD(S) candidate S L Nagaraj by 17,703 votes. Yogeeshwara has won with the highest margin among the three BJP MLAs.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) had campaigned extensively in the constituency to retain the seat. Yogeeshwara, who had lost the earlier by-election to the JD(S) from Channapatna, tasted victory this time.

In the other two constituencies which went to the by-polls, S V Ramachandra of the BJP won from Jagalur in Davangere district by 4,433 votes and M Narayanaswamy (BJP) took the Bangarpet seat in Kolar district by 4,044 votes.

The Congress was relegated to the third place in Jagalur which witnessed a four-cornered contest, with BJP rebel H P Rajesh, who contested as an Independent, securing 37,518 votes giving a close fight to Ramachandra.  The Congress defeat in Bangarpet is seen as a major loss of face for Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa, MP from Kolar district.

The Congress and the JD(S) had hit the streets to defeat the ruling party candidates appealing to the electorate not to encourage defectors and to teach the BJP a lesson.

Here the fight was between Muniyappa and the BJP. Eventually, the electorate has chosen the BJP candidate who ditched the Congress to be with the ruling party.

The saffron fold has been seeking votes on the twin planks of the government’s stability and development. The clean sweep by the BJP comes as a much-needed succour to Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, who had been facing rebellion in his own party.

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