Saffron sweep in state: Cong, JD(S) top guns fall

H D Deve Gowda

As the state witnessed a saffron sweep on Thursday, all the Congress and the JD(S) veterans, including Mallikarjuna Kharge and H D Deve Gowda, suffered an upset defeat.

Kharge, who was known as an invincible leader so far, tasted defeat for the first time against BJP’s Umesh Jadhav in Gulbarga parliamentary constituency, losing by 95,452 votes.

Kharge had won nine consecutive Assembly polls and two Lok Sabha elections. Jadhav, who was a Congress MLA from Chincholi Assembly constituency, crossed over to the BJP to contest against Kharge.

For Kharge, many of his close confidants in Kalaburagi district such as Malikayya Guttedar, A B Maalakaraddy and Baburao Chinchansur deserted him, which turned out be the key factor for his defeat. Guttedar and Chinchansur are prominent backward classes leaders. 

Gowda, who vacated his Hassan seat for his grandson Prajwal Revanna, was defeated in the Tumkur constituency.

He had a tough time during the campaign as many of the Congress leaders in Tumakuru were against the party’s decision give away the seat to the JD(S).

Some of these Congress leaders had even refused to campaign, leading to Gowda’s defeat. Congress’ Muddahanumegowda was representing the seat previously. BJP’s G S Basavaraju won the seat by winning by a slender margin of 13,339 votes.

Another big leader to lose the election is former minister K H Muniyappa in Kolar. Like Kharge, he had remained undefeated and had won the Kolar seat for seven consecutive terms. Interestingly, he was defeated by BJP’s S Muniswamy, who is also a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) corporator. The Congress veteran lost by a margin of over two lakh votes.

Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily, who had won from Chikkaballapur twice, also tasted defeat by a significant margin. BJP’s B N Bache Gowda emerged victorious in the constituency.

This apart, senior Congress leader B K Hari Prasad was defeated by BJP’s Young Turk Tejaswi Surya in Bangalore South parliamentary constituency, while RDPR Minister Krishna Byre Gowda lost his election against Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda in Bangalore North constituency.

KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre lost to Bhagwant Khuba in the Bidar parliamentary seat.

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