Following the counting day predictions that showed BJP leading in 12 out of 15 seats that went to polls, Congress leader and former minister DK Shivakumar in a press meet in Bengaluru said that his party has accepted defeat. The Congress party was hoping to come back to power through these elections. They focused their bye-elections campaign on the fact that the people were upset with their elected representatives rebelled just a year into their term, bringing down the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. However, for now the status quo will remain in Karnataka.
The result of the bye-elections is crucial for the four-month-old BJP government in Karnataka, as the ruling party requires at least seven wins in the bye-elections to have a simple majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, with 113 as the halfway mark. The BJP which currently has 106 members needs to win at least six more seats on Monday to stay in power. However, with the party looking to win in at least 10 seats, if not more, the government is likely to face zero threat.
The Congress, too, has come to this conclusion. DK Shivakumar expressed shock on Monday morning as the results trickled in, saying that he had not expected this. However, he said, “If the people are giving a green signal for (the party) defectors then we accept that.”
The coalition government of Congress and JD(S) fell as a result of 17 sitting MLAs resigning, which gave way to the BJP to set up the government. A Supreme Court verdict held that the defector candidates were not barred from going to polls. Following this, the BJP welcomed 16 of the defector candidates and gave them membership. Only Roshan Baig from the Shivajinagar constituency was denied membership.