BJP lost 3 seats by slender margin

'Prominent leaders were unable to tour State'

BJP lost 3 seats by slender margin

The Bharatiya Janata Party could have increased its Lok Sabha seat tally in Karnataka at least by three more seats had the State leaders put in more efforts.

The BJP tasted defeat in three seats by a slender margin of about 3,000 votes to 9,500 votes.

The BJP candidates have lost to the ruling Congress in Chikkodi by a margin of 3,003 votes, in Raichur by 1,499 votes and in Chikkaballapur by a margin of 9,520 votes.

“The party could have easily bagged these seats if the State leaders sweated it out in these constituencies during campaigning. This is especially so when there was Modi wave sweeping the country,”  party insiders said on condition of anonymity. 

Sugar Minister Prakash Hukkeri and B V Nayak of the Congress won Chikkodi and Raichur Lok Sabha seats respectively. The seats were held by Ramesh Katti and S Pakirappa. Union minister Veerappa Moily retained Chikkaballapur after a tough fight against B N Bache Gowda of the BJP. In Kolar, Union minister K H Muniyappa retained the seat by winning with a margin of 47,850 votes.

Several prominent leaders in the State BJP such as former chief ministers B S Yeddyurappa and D V Sadananada Gowda, State president Pralhad Joshi and National General Secretary Ananth Kumar were contesting the elections and hence could not campaign much across the State. However, all these leaders won with a huge margin.

Most of those who were not contesting were hardly seen campaigning across the State, sources added. 

Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, could have made a difference in Chikkodi and Raichur, where the community people are in good numbers.

Yeddyurappa, who won the election from Shimoga with a huge margin of 3.63 lakh votes, did not tour the State. The only exception is the neighbouring Udupi-Chikmagalur where he frequently campaigned for his close confidante Shobha Karandlaje, sources added.

Similarly, the Congress has lost two seats to BJP  - Mysore (by 31,608 votes ) and Koppal (32,414). Interestingly, these are among the constituencies where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had taken responsibility to ensure the party's victory. 

A H Vishwanath, who was sitting MP in Mysore, lost to political novice Prathap Simha of the BJP. A section of the Congress leaders was against re-nominating Vishwanath. An internal survey conducted by the party had found that Vishwanath had less chances of winning.

But Siddaramaiah, who hails from Mysore, had insisted that the ticket should be given to Vishwanath. The party gave ticket to Basavaraj Hitnal in Koppal due to pressure from Siddaramaiah.

Of the total 28 LS constituencies in the State, the BJP has won in 17, Congress nine and JD(S) two, this time. The saffron party had won 19 seats in the 2009 elections.

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