Karnataka By-Election Results 2019: BJP's opens maiden account in Vokkaliga bastion of Mandya
New Delhi, Dec 09: The ruling BJP appeared headed for a splendid show, leading in 11 out of 15 Assembly constituencies that went for the bypolls on December five, as the counting was taken up on Monday.
In KR Pete of Mandya district, BJP candidate Narayana Gowda has won, against Congress' B L Devaraj, who was ahead in the initial rounds sparking off big celebrations. This is Narendra Modi-led party's first-ever victory in the Vokkaliga bastion of Mandya district, dominated by Congress and JD(S) for decades.
Gowda is one among the three disqualified JD(S) legislators who the BJP had fielded as its candidate in the bypolls.
Taking special interest in ensuring BJP's victory in K R Pete under which his birth place Bookanakere comes, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had deputed his son B Y Vijayendra to oversee the election-related activities in the constituency.
"It gives me an immense pleasure that Narayana Gowda has won from KR Pete. It is the same place where my village Bookanakere is located and where I was born, but we had never won the election.I congratulate him," Yediyurappa told reporters.
Celebrating Gowda's victory, BJP state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel said, "In certain regions such as KR Pete and Chikkaballapura, BJP had never won the election. Mandya had been the JD(S) citadel, but today he (Narayana Gowda) has brought us victory from there".
In the previous elections, the Congress had won in 12 of those 15 seats and the JDS of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, the remaining three. Trends available so far showed Congress leading in two (Shivajinagar and Hunsur), while JD(S) and an independent candidate were ahead in Yeshwanthpura and Hoskote constituencies respectively.
Other BJP candidates who are leading are- Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), B C Patil (Hirekerur), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), Mahesh Kumthalli (Athani), Arun Kumar Guttur (Ranebennur), and Byrathi Basavaraj (K R Puram).
In the 2018 Assembly elections, the JD(S) had won all the eight assembly segments in Mandya district with a substantial population of the dominant Vokkaliga community.
Despite losing Mandya Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls in November 2018, BJP had made significant inroads in the district for the first time, with party candidate Siddaramaiah, a political greenhorn and former civil servant securing 2,44,404 votes, its best performance there.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP supported independent candidate actor-turned politician Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandaya by not fielding its candidate, who eventually defeated Congress-JD(S) joint candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Among 13 disqualified legislators fielded by the BJP as party candidates for the bypolls, 10 are maintaining a lead against their opponent candidates. BJP had fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators, who had been admitted into the party after the Supreme Court allowed them to contest the bypolls, as its candidates from their respective constituencies from where they had won in the 2018 assembly elections on Congress and JD(S) tickets.
The bypolls were held to fill vacancies caused by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose revolt led to collapse of the 14-month-old H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for BJP to come to power. The BJP needs to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in a majority in the 225-member assembly (including the Speaker, who has a casting vote), which would still have two vacant seats -- Maski and R R Nagar, where byelections are yet to be declared owing to election-related petitions pending in court. In the assembly with the current strength of 208 after the disqualifications, BJP has 105 MLAs (including an independent), the Congress 66 and the JD(S) has 34 MLAs. There is also one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.