Karnataka bypoll: Bellary defeat a setback, admits BSY

Karnataka bypoll: Bellary defeat a setback, admits BSY

State BJP President B S Yeddyurappa admitted that the party suffered a setback in Bellary Lok Sabha constituency and Jamakhandi Assembly constituency. The former chief minister said he would treat it as a caution for the party and would interact with leaders of both the regions to ascertains the reasons for the defeat.

Yeddyurappa was speaking at a Thanksgiving programme for voters organised by the district BJP unit on the premises of the party office, in Shimoga on Tuesday. 

As the results trickled in, Yeddyurappa made himself scarce after his party recorded a humiliating defeat. Though very much present in Shimoga, Yeddyurappa neither met his party leaders nor workers. He also chose to remain silent on social media. 

Yeddyurappa is said to have only met his son and BJP candidate from Shimoga B Y Raghavendra, after the poll debacle. Initially, the BJP leader only issued a media statement.

Speaking at the programme, Yeddyurappa alleged that the coalition partners won Bellary and Jamakhandi seats by misusing power. "They used money, muscle and political power to win Bellary and Jamakhandi seats. The coalition partners offered lakhs of litres of liquor to voters in both the constituencies. They tried to win Shimoga seat through underhand tactics. But voters of the constituency rejected it and backed BJP," Yeddyurappa said.

Expressing happiness over the party's performance in the Mandya Lok Sabha bypoll, he said: "For the first time, our candidate Siddaramaiah, who is a doctor by profession, has obtained around 2.47 lakh votes in Mandya, where the party has no political hold. This has strengthened our morale in the region. Our next aim is to win more than 20 seats in Lok Sabha polls slated to be held next year."

He also thanked voters of Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency for electing his son B Y Raghavendra in the bypoll. "Both the JD(S) and Congress leaders left no stone unturned to defeat the BJP. But our workers were so committed that they did their work promptly," he said.

Hoping for bigger margin

But for Yeddyurappa, his son Raghavendra's victory has not brought much solace, as he was hoping for a bigger victory margin. 

The Lingayat strongman, who took over as chief minister for the third time for a very brief period soon after the Assembly elections in May, has continued to make a desperate bid for his party to come back to power in Karnataka. 

After he was forced to step down as chief minister, Yeddyurappa started asserting that the JD(S)-Congress coalition government will not complete its five-year term. 

The BJP was also seen making efforts to poach the ruling party MLAs on several occasions these last six months. 

Yeddyurappa, who has termed the JD(S)-Congress partnership as an 'unholy alliance', was also seen claiming that several Congress and JD(S) MLAs were willing to jump ship to his party.

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Unfortunately for Yeddyurappa and his partymen, the DK brothers of Kanakapura have emerged as formidable opponents, staying one step ahead of the BJP’s every move. 

Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar and his brother and Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh have literally been giving nightmares to the BJP, ever since the coalition government was formed.

Even two days before the bypolls, the brothers pulled off a swift counter strategy by swaying back BJP’s official candidate from Ramanagar - L Chandrashekar. Chandrashekar, who ditched the BJP to return to the Congress, also vouched for JD(S)'s Anitha Kumaraswamy, leaving saffron leaders shocked and bewildered.

Warns police 

Yeddyurappa has warned the police, asking them not to manhandle the party workers under any circumstances.

Raising the issue of police personnel on election duty manhandling the party workers when the latter tried to enter Sahyadri College, the venue of counting, to control crowd, Yeddyurappa said the party would take action against higher officials of police department without fail. 

Referring to the transfer issue, he said for the first time, the Karnataka High Court has directed the Governor to instruct the state government to control transfer mafia. He alleged that the government is making a business out of transferring the officials. "It is unfortunate that the government has stooped to such a low level," he said.