BJP suffers setback in bypolls

V Somanna loses in Govindarajnagar; Kharges son too bites the dust

BJP suffers setback in bypolls

Congress candidate Priya Krishna and D K shiva Kumar being greeted by the crowds. DH Photo

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (Secular) emerged the gainer as it not only retained a seat it held but also wrested one more.

The Congress surrendered two of its seats to the BJP and one to the JD (S).
But the BJP is not in a position to rejoice at the increased tally in the Assembly to 117, as Minister Somanna had to concede defeat. He was routed by 25-year-old Priya Krishna of the Congress in Govindarajnagar. Krishna  won by 5,239 votes.

Somanna had resigned as Congress MLA from Govindarajnagar to join the BJP in the last Lok Sabha polls. The JD (S) had supported the Congress there.

This is the first time in the history of the State that a minister has lost in a byelection. Four BJP ministers, who had contested byelections in December last, had made it to the Assembly.

No choice

Somanna is not a member of either House of the legislature. He was inducted into the Cabinet in June. He can continue for a maximum of another four months, provided the BJP favours. Somanna has no choice but to resign.

Even if the BJP wishes to retain him in the cabinet, it cannot as all the seats in the Legislative Council are filled. No vacancy will arise till January 2010.

The BJP stunned the Congress by making a foray into the Congress bastions of Chittapur in Gulbarga and Kollegal of Chamarajnagar.

Both are reserved for the scheduled castes. Union Labour Minister and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge was defeated by the BJP’s Valmiki Nayak in Gulbarga by 1,606 votes.

Saffron opens account

In Kollegal, the BJP opened its account for the first time with its candidate G N Nanjundaswamy defeating S Jayanna of the Congress by  a margin of 8,267 votes. This is the second victory for the BJP in Chamarajnagar. Another Congress defector C P Yogeeshwara lost to M C Ashwath of the JD (S) in Channapatna. Shedding tears in Ramnagaram paid rich dividends to JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy.

His party nominee K Raju defeated the Congress’ C M Lingappa. Raju not only made his party retain the seat but also emerged victorious with the highest margin.

DH News Service

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