Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said that the results in the five bye-poll seats ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections are a boost to the Congress-JD(S) coalition. The Congress-JD(S) alliance has won four out of the five polled seats on November 3, with only former CM BS Yeddyurappa’s son BY Raghavendra managing a victory for the BJP from the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat in Shivamogga district.
Reacting to this, Kumaraswamy said, “BJP might have won in Shivamogga, but the moral victory is ours. Our candidate was abroad when we decided to select him. But he has done exceedingly well. Even in Jamakhandi and Ramanagara our candidates have won.”
“I would like to thank the people of the state for this. In this election, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, Shivakumar, Kagodu Thimmappa, Dinesh Gundu Rao have worked very hard. I want to personally congratulate all the workers of both parties for this. Our victory in four seats and very narrow loss in one, despite BJP allegations that this was an ‘unholy alliance.’ This is a response to the BJP,” he said.
Kumaraswamy added that he had noted people's support for "pro-people programs" in these results. "We have already brought in farm loan waiver. This result is the people telling us to work in the direction we are going and that our responsibility is greater now. And our government will work in this direction.”
The CM reiterated that the Congress and JD(S) will continue their partnership in the Lok Sabha elections. "We have already decided to contest LS polls together, but there is no question of us getting carried away by this." Rather, he said, the coalition is keen on winning all the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy’s father, also tweeted, “I thank people of Karnataka for supporting development-centric administration of JDS-INC Government. People of the state have given their response to those who were trying to destabilise the state Government.”
Earlier Deve Gowda had said the success of the coalition would be a bellwether for the rest of the country in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Similarly, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated the victory in the Ballari Lok Sabha seat was people’s answer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence. Addressing reporters, he said, “Last time when Yeddyurappa won, he won by 3 lakh votes, this time his son has won by less than 50,000 votes. This means people have rejected Yeddyurappa and Narendra Modi.”
Reacting to the results, state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said, “The BJP will look into the defeats at Jamkhandi and Ballari.”
He insisted, “It is not possible to defeat us in Shivamogga in spite of alliance. But it is true we got less votes in Ballari and that will be examined.”
4-1 Victory for JD(S)-Congress
In a huge victory, Congress’ VS Ugrappa won against BJP’s J Shantha, sister of Molakalmuru MLA Sriramulu in the mining heartland of Ballari. In Jamkhandi, Anand Siddu Nyamagouda pulled off a comfortable victory with a margin of more than 30,000 votes. In Ramanagra and Mandya, in the Vokkaliga heartland, the JD(S) candidates, Anitha Kumaraswamy and Shivarame Gowda, both won with huge margins on expected lines.
The Lok Sabha bye-elections were held to fill vacancies caused by the resignation of its three sitting members -- BJP's Yeddyurappa from Shimoga and Sriramaulu from Bellary, and C. Puttaraju of the JD-S from Mandya on being elected to the assembly in the May 12 elections. The Ramanagara bye-poll was held to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Kumaraswamy, who retained the adjacent Channapatna assembly seat after contesting and winning from both the seats. In Jamkhandi, bye-polls were called after senior leader Siddu Nyamagouda died in a road accident in May.