After 14 years, BJP loses Bellary LS seat

In a major embarrassment, the BJP lost the Bellary Lok Sabha seat to the Congress after a gap of 14 years.
 
V S Ugrappa of the Congress secured 6,28,365 over his BJP rival J Shanta who secured 3,85,204 votes - margin of  2,43,161 votes.

The constituency, once a Congress bastion, has been the scene of the famous electoral battle in which AICC president Sonia Gandhi made her electoral debut defeating senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in 1999. 

Sonia won, but the BJP wrested the seat in the 2004 polls and had retained it since. The present bypolls were necessitated after sitting MP B Sriramulu of the BJP vacated the seat following his victory in the 2018 Assembly polls from Molkalmuru constituency in Chitradurga district. 

 


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Sriramulu had won the seat defeating N Y Hanumanthappa of the Congress by a margin of 85,000 votes. J Shanta is the sister of Sriramulu.

The victory to the Congress has also given a shot in the arm to party Man Friday and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, who is the district in-charge minister. 

Shivakumar was also entrusted the task by the party to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate. It was a sort of proxy war between Shivakumar and Sriramulu. 

Both Shivakumar and Sriramalu are known for their electoral management skills and ‘never-say-die’ attitude. As part of its coalition arrangement with the Congress, the JD(S) did not contest.

It now seems that the faction-ridden Ballari unit of the Congress did not adversely affect the party’s electoral prospects. 

There was speculation that Hosapete (Vijayanagar constituency) MLA Anand Singh and Ballari (ST) constituency MLA B  Nagendra may jump ship to the BJP after their demand for Cabinet berths were not met.

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After 14 years, BJP loses Bellary LS seat

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