BJP scrambles to retain LS seat in Karnataka bypoll


In a hard fought contest which went down to the wire, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scrambled to retain the high-profile Belgaum Lok Sabha seat, with a slender margin of 5,240 votes in Karnataka’s April 17 bypoll, said a poll official on Sunday.

“BJP’s Mangala Angadi has been elected to the Belgaum parliamentary seat after securing 4,40,327 votes with 43.07 per cent vote share,” the official told IANS telephonically from Belgaum, nearly 500-km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.

In a see-saw battle, opposition Congress candidate Satish Jarkiholi lost to Mangala, as he could poll 4,32,882 votes with 42.56 per cent vote share.

Of the five independents who were also in the fray, Shubham Vikrant Shelke secured 1,17,174 votes with 11.46 per cent vote share which also contributed to the defeat of Congress in the see-saw battle at the hustings.

Of 18,13,567 electorate in Belgaum, 10,16,025 voted resulting in 56.02 per cent polling.

Of the total 10,22,247 votes counted, 10,15,914 were polled in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) and 6,333 through postal ballots.

The by-election was held to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Suresh Angadi, BJP’s sitting member and Union Minister of State for Railways, in September 2020.

Angadi held the Belgaum parliamentary seat for fourth consecutive term since 2004.

Satish, 58, is a legislator from the Yemakanmardi Assembly seat in the border district of the state.

Satish is also the younger brother of BJP’s tainted former state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is embroiled in the sleaze CD that has rocked the state in March this year.