Bengaluru: BJP is heading towards a sweep in bypoll elections, which it needed to retain power in Karnataka. Till 1 PM, BJP is leading in 12 out of 15 seats, which is a big boost for the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s four-month-old government. BJP formed Government in Karnataka after Congress-Janta Dal Secular coalition had some defections and MLAs resigned in the month of July.
BS Yediyurappa was seen celebrating with his son BY Vijayendra as BJP gallops ahead in the counting, getting leads in about a dozen seats.
“We have to agree with the mandate of the voters of these 15 constituencies. People have accepted the defectors. We have accepted defeat. I don’t think we have to be disheartened,” Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar said.
“The people of Karnataka have ensured that the Congress or the JDS will not be able betray them. It’s a message for all states that the public will punish those who go against the popular mandate,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in Jharkhand today.
Twelve of the fifteen seats were previously held by the Congress and the remaining three by the JDS. In the bypolls, Congress and JDS contested separately after their relation broke down following the crash in the coalition.
The MLAs were disqualified by the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and barred from elections till 2023. The Supreme Court backed the disqualification but allowed the members to contest. All the MLAs joined BJP and were fielded by their new party with the promise to offer them ministerial berths.
Report by Joydev Majumdar, Bengaluru.