BJP, JD-S win Karnataka bypolls, Congress loses again

The BJP and opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) bagged one seat each in two Karnataka bypolls.

Bangalore: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Thursday bagged one seat each in two Karnataka bypolls, but the Congress drew a blank, continuing a dismal run for the party in the state.

The JD-S scored an upset win in Gulbarga South when Aruna Patil Revoor, widow of Revoor, the sitting BJP assembly member whose death necessitated the bypoll, rode home on the sympathy factor and the "BJP`s betrayal" in denying her the party nomination.

She defeated senior BJP state leader and legislative council member Sashil Namoshi and Congress candidate Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister N. Dharam Singh, by over 3,000 votes. Namoshi came third, just behind Singh.

The BJP has little presence in north Karantaka.

The BJP won the Kadur seat in Chikmagalur district where the sympathy factor did not work for Congress nominee K.M. Kemparaju, brother of KM Krishnamurhty whose death brought about the bypoll.

BJP nominee YC Vishwanath, a medical practitioner in the area, defeated his nearest rival, JD-S spokesperson and legislative council member YSV Datta, by over 13,000 votes. Kemparaju came third.

The by-poll results are a severe blow to the Congress whose dismal show in all elections continues since the 2008 assembly polls, which brought the BJP to power for the first time in Karnataka and south India.

The loss in Gulbarga South is a major jolt to Dharam Singh and union Labour Minister Mallikharjun Kharge, considered the tallest Congress leaders in Gulbarga district.

The campaign for the two by-polls for which voting took place on Sep 13 was dominated by the illegal mining issue with the parties blaming each other for encouraging it.