BJP, JD (S) trounce Cong in bypolls

BJP, JD (S) trounce Cong in bypolls

The results of the bypolls, held on September 13, were announced on Thursday. The BJP wrested the Kadur Assembly seat in Chikmagalur district from the Congress, while in a bitter, triangular fight in Gulbarga South, the JD (S) candidate emerged victorious.
In Kadur, Dr Y C Vishwanath of the BJP won against his nearest rival, JD (S) nominee and MLC Y S V Datta, by 13,897 votes. In Gulbarga South,

JD (S) nominee Aruna, wife of Chandrashekhar Patil Revoora whose death caused the bypoll, romped home trouncing Ajay Singh, son of former Chief Minister Dharam Singh, and BJP MLC Sashil Namoshi by a margin of 3,532 votes.

The humiliating defeat of the Congress has rattled the party, which was riding high on the successful padayatra to Bellary. Its senior most leader Siddaramaiah tendered his resignation as Congress Legislature Party leader. In a letter to Sonia Gandhi, he said he owned the moral responsibility for the defeat and resolved not to reconsider his decision though some of his associates were urging him to withdraw the resignation.

Following Siddharamaiah’s resignation, another senior leader R V Deshpande also requested the party high command to relieve him from the post of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief as he, too, felt responsible for the defeat.

Deshpande’s resignation, however, came in as a surprise, as he had not offered to step down despite the party losing by-elections to 12 Assembly seats over the last 27 months. Also in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the party had just won six of the total 28 seats.
Another Congress leader to put in the resignation paper is Allam Prabhu Patil, an MLC. He resigned as president of Gulbarga district Congress unit following the party’s defeat in the district.

Siddaramaiah, a prominent Kuruba leader, was directly involved in the selection of the candidate and poll campaign in Kadur. He had gone against the party seniors to give ticket to K M Kemparaju, brother of late K M Krishnamurthy, whose death led to the by-election in Kadur, a strong bastion of Kurubas. Party elders had wanted Krishnamurthy’s widow to contest, but Siddaramaiah favoured Kemparaju as he was a Kuruba.

In Gulbarga South, JD (S)’s win was a blow both to Congress leader Dharam Singh and Chief Minister Yedyurappa. Singh’s son, Ajay, was pushed to the third slot in the results tally and the BJP regretted not giving ticket to Aruna, whose late husband was a party MLA. Aruna had in fact knocked at the doors of the BJP first.

When the BJP denied her a ticket, JD (S) State President H D Kumaraswamy roped her into his party and fielded her though the party did not have any significant base in the constituency.

Kumaraswamy’s fielding of Aruna was based on the success of the party in the bypolls to the Madur Assembly seat, where Kalpana, widow of Siddaraju, rode to victory on a sympathy wave. With Aruna’s victory, the JD (S) now has three women MLAs, equalling BJP’s tally.

Yedyurappa had fielded MLC Sashil Namoshi as the BJP candidate from Gulbarga. The CM was confident that Namoshi, a Lingayat, would win in the area, which has a large Lingayat population. But Aruna, too, belonged to the same caste and she also had the bonus of the sympathy wave.

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