Bengaluru, Nov 10 : The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has wrested both Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) and Sira assembly constituencies in Karnataka taking the party’s tally in Assembly to 119 on Tuesday.
RR Nagar and Sira were won by Congress and Janata Dal (S) respectively in the 2018 Assembly polls. In RR Nagar, Munirathna had defected to the BJP in mid 2019 thereby causing vacancy while JD(S) legislator B. Sathyanarayana succumbed to prolonged illness in August this year, hence elections were announced here.
The BJP secured around 13,000 votes more than the Congress in Sira and romped home in RR Nagar with over 57,000 votes more than its nearest rival H. Kusuma, widow of IAS office D. K. Ravi.
Munirathna was one of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs whose resignations triggered the dramatic fall of the 14-month-old coalition government led by H. D. Kumaraswamy.
In both constituencies, former Congressmen have delivered victory to BJP. The BJP’s gambit to field Rajesh C. M. Gowda paid rich dividend in Sira as the party registered its maiden victory here.
The BJP’s previous highest return for this seat was only 24,000, while Gowda’s entry in BJP has yielded 74000 votes this time. This is the third seat in Vokkaliga heartland that the BJP has won in by-polls, following victories in K.R. Pet and Chikkaballapura in December 2019.
In terms of numbers, neither result would not have made any difference to the stability of the state government, given the numerical superiority of the BJP in the House, but this is a shot in the arm for Karnataka Chief Minister, B. S. Yediyurappa against whom a section of his own party men had launched a campaign to replace him.
Meanwhile reacting about his victory, Munirathna told reporters outside the counting centre, that he would not able to repay gratitude to his voters. “For me, voters are no less than the God. I will work even harder to help my voters who have reposed faith in me to this an extent,” he said.
He added that in his maiden election, the voters had given him the lead of 17,000 in 2013 and in 2018 they gave him 26000 lead and now they have given him more than 57000 votes. “I can’t repay their gratitude even if I am reborn seven times,” he said emotionally amidst loud cheers and drum beats.
Karnataka Leader of the Opposition Siddaramiah alleged that the government had misused officials. “Official power, muscle power and money power were used in this election and not to forget that this elections were fought by the BJP with a tacit help from the JD(S),” he charged.
In December last year, during the first round of bypolls in which 15 seats were contested, the BJP fielded 13 of those rebel MLAs; 11 won their contests and overall the party won 12 seats.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.