The results bypolls of two assembly constituencies in north Karnataka are a setback to the ruling BJP, though, BJP managed to register a thumping win at Sindgi constituency. Questions are raised over loss at Hangal seat, which was held by the BJP.
Party sources explain that the results have shown that the BJP can’t take former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa lightly any more.
The Congress emerged a winner in the contest, wresting the BJP seat to its fold with the win in Hangal seat. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah stated that this is an indication of falling popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“In the next elections, Congress is going to attain power in Karnataka. The voter has indicated, they want change,” he said.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa stated that there is no reason for Siddaramaiah and Congress to celebrate. “Single person can’t be held responsible for defeat. Everyone should share the responsibility,” he stated.
However, party sources said that, if Yediyurappa and his son B.S. Vijayendra were allowed to carry out full fledged campaign in Hangal, results would have been different.
The result has been a setback to the BJP, which wanted to move on from the shadow of Yediyurappa. The party is in not a position to blame him as he campaigned as per party’s plan. Everyone knew that, it wasn’t the usual style of Yediyurappa.
The party left B.Y. Vijayendra from star campaigners list and added his name only after protest from his followers. Yediyurappa’s constituency Shikaripura borders with Haveri district and he holds a greater influence over the area. But, the party’s decision to cut short his campaign schedule boomeranged on them, sources said.
BJP state President Nalinkumar Kateel described the defeat as a small setback. “It has shown us that we have to struggle more,” he said.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda who campaigned in both the constituencies, reacted on JD(S) losing deposit in Sindgi and Hangal, said that the national parties have won elections by spending money. His son H.D. Kumaraswamy said that, the party lacked organization there. “I am not sad over the results. I fielded candidates as per wishes of the party workers. I do not attach importance to by-lections,” he said.
However, Congress though being divided into Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar camps, managed to wrest BJP held seat in the Lingayat heartland. Though, more than 40,000 minority votes are there in Hangal constituency, BJP could get lead in only one round out of total 19 rounds. This has not gone down well with party leaders.
Yediyurappa has reiterated after results that he would take up the state-wide tour to strengthen the party and win assembly elections of 2023.
Initially, the party leaders who vehemently opposed Yediyurappa’s plans of state tour will now have to think twice before cutting him short, sources said.