BJP bags five of eight seats in Karnataka by-polls; Congress flops


Bangalore : The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday won five of the eight assembly constituencies in by-polls held in Karnataka Saturday and secured a majority on its own in the 225-member house with a tally of 115 seats.

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The opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) bagged two seats. In the eighth segment Turvekere, state election officials announced that the BJP candidate had won, but called back the result after objections by JD-S and Congress candidates who demanded a recount.

However Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters: “We have won in Turvekere.”

BJP won from Hukkeri, Arabhavi, Karwar, Devadurga, and Doddaballapur while the JD-S emerged victorious in Maddur and Madhugiri.

BJP had own 110 seats in the May elections and formed its first government in Karnataka and south India with the help of six independents, five of whom were made cabinet ministers.

Seven of the eight by-elections were caused after three Congress and four JD-S legislators resigned from the assembly to join the BJP. The eighth by-poll, in Maddur, was necessitated by the death of JD-S legislator M.S. Siddaraju.

BJP candidates Umesh Katti won from Hukkeri, Balachachandra Jarkiholi from Arabhavi, Anand Asnotikar from Karwar, Shivanagouda Nayak from Devadurg and J. Narasimhaswamy from Doddaballapur.

Katti, Jarkiholi, Asnotikar and Nayak are cabinet ministers in the Yeddyurappa government. JD-S nominee Kalpana Siddaraju, widow of Siddaraju, won from Maddur in Mandya district.

Another JD-S candidate Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of former state chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and daughter in-law of party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, won from Madhugiri in Tumkur district.