BJP candidate from RR Nagar Munirathna receiving the confirmation of his win from the returning officer on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO.)
BJP candidate from RR Nagar Munirathna receiving the confirmation of his win from the returning officer on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO.)

BJP wins both Sira and RR Nagar assembly by-polls in Karnataka

In RR Nagar, Congress turncoat and BJP candidate Munirathna won by a comfortable margin of 57,936 votes defeating his nearest Congress rival H Kusuma. JDS candidate Krishnamurthy came in a poor third.
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru | By Venkatesha Babu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
UPDATED ON NOV 10, 2020 05:57 PM IST

Celebrations broke out in the Karnataka unit of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after it registered comfortable wins in both the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) and Sira assembly seats which went to by-polls on November 3.

In RR Nagar, Congress turncoat and BJP candidate Munirathna won by a comfortable margin of 57,936 votes defeating his nearest Congress rival H Kusuma. JDS candidate Krishnamurthy came in a poor third.

While Munirathna polled 125,734 votes, Kusuma got 67,798 and Krishnamurthy got 10,251 votes. For Munirathna who resigned his seat and crossed over to BJP helping the saffron party topple the 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government in the state it was a hat-trick victory having registered wins in two earlier polls too from the seat. The CM during the poll campaign had promised that Munirathna would be made a minister after winning the by-polls.

However, it was the upset win in Sira seat which has brought much cheer to the ruling party. BJP had never even been a runner-up in this seat. In the by-poll, however, Dr Rajesh Gowda the BJP candidate defeated Congress party’s five time MLA and former minister T B Jayachandra by a margin of 12,949 votes. Surprisingly, the regional JD(S) which held the seat before the untimely death of its MLA B Satyanarayana due to Covid-19 leading to the by-poll - came in a poor third.

BJP’s winning candidate Rajesh Gowda got 74,522 votes, while Jayachandra of Congress got 61,573 votes and JD(S) nominee Ammajamma the wife of the deceased MLA Satyanaryana got a mere 35,982 votes. In his first reaction to the defeat, KPCC president D K Shivakumar said, “While we accept the verdict, it is well known that by-polls tend to favour the ruling party. There is no question of being disheartened. We will continue to oppose the anti-people policies of the BJP government.”

BJP state unit vice president and CM Yediyurappa’s son, B Y Vijayendra who led the party campaign especially in Sira warned the opposition parties saying, “At least now they should stop practicing politics of caste. Opposition parties’ money and liqour politics has been rejected by people. Everybody cutting across, caste and class lines have accepted the leadership of Yediyurappa.”

Political analyst Manjunath said that while by-polls traditionally tend to favour the ruling party, BJP’s win in the Sira seat was commendable. “This could prolong Yediyurappa’s hold on the reins of the government. It is a setback for the Congress specially the margin of defeat in RR Nagar. It is a wipe-out for the JD(S) which is staring at dis-integration if it continues its poor run.”

The results of four graduates and teachers constituencies for the upper house in the state, where BJP does not enjoy a majority is awaited as counting is still on.

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