In a minor boost for the Congress in Karnataka, the party emerged victorious in the Hangal Assembly seat in the home district of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that went for bye-polls on Saturday, October, 30. Mane Shrinivas of the Congress, who had lost the 2018 elections by a slim margin, won by a margin of 7,225 votes. The BJP has denied a ticket to the powerful family of late Minister CM Udasi, who represented the constituency.
In the other seat, Ramesh Bhoosanur of the BJP Sindagi amassed a 93,380 votes to emerge as a clear winner with Congress candidate Ashok Managuli finishing second with 62,292 votes.
As reported earlier, both the seats in north Karnataka had seen a good turnout. Hanagal saw a voter turnout with 83.44% voting while at Sindagi 64.54% voting. The bye-polls were necessitated due to the death of the MLAs representing the two seats. Hangal was represented by former minister CM Udasi of the BJP, a close confidant of former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, while Sindagi was represented by former minister MC Managuli of the JD(S).
Despite the result of two seats having little impact on the political situation of the state, the byepolls saw high octane campaigning by the three major parties. For the BJP, both Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and former CM BS Yediyurappa campaigned actively. Similarly for the opposition parties, ex-CM Siddaramaiah and Congress state president DK Shivakumar, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former CM HD Kumaraswamy had hit the campaign trail.
This is also the first major electoral test for Chief Minister Bommai after he took office in late July.
In September, the BJP had fared well in three municipal body elections for Kalaburagi, Belagavi and Hubballi-Dharwad. While the BJP emerged the winner in Belagavi and Hubballi-Dharwad, it finished a close second in Kalaburagi.