New Delhi, May 13
The Congress on Saturday swept Karnataka with a near two-third majority, winning 136 of the 224 Assembly seats and ousting the ruling BJP from the only South Indian state it held ahead of five state elections later this year and the Lok Sabha poll next year.
Kumaraswamy’s son loses, Yedi’s wins
Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra won from Shikaripura. Ex-CM & JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy won from Channapatna, but son Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost from the JD(S) bastion Ramanagaram
As the 38-year-old trend of incumbent government being voted out held in the state, the Congress moved well past the simple majority mark of 113 seats, securing a vote share of 42.95 per cent, which was higher than 38 per cent it got in 2018 and far higher than rival BJP’s 35.95 per cent this time.
The BJP trailed with 65 seats while former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led JD(S) was reduced to 19, down from 37 seats in 2018. The JD(S) lost 5 per cent votes since the 2018 poll, with the Congress breaching its citadels in Old Mysuru. The Congress has called a meeting of its MLAs in Bengaluru tomorrow as senior leader Siddaramaiah is the frontrunner for the CM’s post.
As Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the “strength of the poor had defeated the power of the rich in Karnataka and the same would happen in other states”, a united Opposition welcomed the verdict as a harbinger of hope.
Will play role of constructive oppn
The BJP accepts the mandate of the people with humility. I thank the karyakartas and people who showed faith in our vision... will raise their voice by playing the role of constructive Opposition. JP Nadda, BJP Chief
People have rejected divisive politics
The poll outcome in Karnataka and HP makes it amply clear that the electorate have rejected BJP’s divisive politics. Priyanka Gandhi, AICC General Secretary
TMC’s Mamata Banerjee, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, NC’s Omar Abdullah, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, among others, hailed the vote for change with Mamata terming the results a defeat of “authoritarianism”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Congress, wishing it the best in fulfilling people’s aspirations.
The Congress rode a wave of caste-class combination, Muslim consolidation and welfare politics with a promise of five guarantees. Though the BJP retained the 2018 vote share of 36.35 per cent, it lost 39 seats over its previous tally of 104, suffering setbacks across all Karnataka regions except Bengaluru where PM Modi held two roadshows towards the end of the campaign. But the PM’s high-octane campaign dotted with nearly 22 rallies and 12 visits to Karnataka this year alone could not save a sinking BJP.
While CM Basavaraj Bommai won his seat Shiggaon, at least 13 ministers of the outgoing Cabinet lost, signalling massive anti-incumbency amid signs that Congress’ “40 per cent commission charge” against the incumbent BJP struck with the voters while the PM’s reverse accusation of “85 per cent commission party” did not.
None of the BJP’s planks worked, be it PM’s double engine government pitch, Bajrangbali slogans, Tipu Sultan or hijab row, Sonia Gandhi’s sovereignty remarks or VHP’s Hanuman Chalisa recitals to protest Congress poll promise of banning the Bajrang Dal. Conversely, Congress’ M Krishnappa defeated BJP’s H Ravindra bagging 50.5 per cent of all votes polled in Vijay Nagar, where the VHP and Bajrang Dal had held Hanuman Chalisa recitals on election eve.
The Congress, in a reversal of 2018 trends, won 42 of the 67 seats dominated by electorally influential Lingayats. The BJP had won 41 of these seats last time and was down to 20 today. The results show that the Congress not just kept its OBC, SC and Muslim votes (known as AHINDA in Kannada) intact, it added BJP loyalist Lingayats and JD(S) loyalist Vokkaligas to its kitty, effectively subsuming most of the JD(S) support base.
The Congress reclaimed Lingayats having lost them in late 1990s after the unceremonious removal of then CM Veerendra Patil. The Lingayats then shifted to BS Yediyurappa who helmed the first BJP government in Karnataka and South India in 2008, helping the saffron camp win 51 per cent of Lingayat votes.
Yediyurappa’s absence in the current election hit the BJP, which lost big as voters bought Congress’ guarantees despite the PM’s “what’s the value of guarantees of a party whose warranty has expired” salvos.
Giant slayer Shivakumar wins by highest margin
- DK Shivakumar, Congress state president and CM-hopeful, won from Kanakpura with the highest margin of 1,23,270 votes
- He polled 1,43,023 votes (about 75%) against 20,631 by JD(S)’s B Nagaraju and 19,753 by BJP’s R Ashoka
- Bengaluru (28 seats): BJP 15 (11 in 2018); Cong 13 (15 in 2018)
- Central Karnataka (35), a Yedi stronghold: Congress 24 (11 in 2018); BJP 9 (24 in 2018)
- Coastal Karnataka (19): BJP 12 (16 in 2018); Cong 6 (3 in 2018)
- Old Mysuru (53), Deve Gowda bastion: Cong 34 (17 in 2018), JD(S) 15 (27 in 2018), BJP 4 (9 in 2018)
- Mumbai Karnataka (50 seats): Congress 33 (17 seats in 2018); BJP 16 (down from 30 in 2018)
- Hyderabad Karnataka (39): Cong 26 (15 in 2018), BJP 9 (12 in 2018), JD(S) 4 (4 in 2018)
OTHER BYPOLL RESULTS
- United Democratic Party’s Synshar Kupar Roy Thabah wins the Sohiong Assembly seat in Meghalaya
- BJP ally Apna Dal (S) candidates win Chhanbey and Suar Assembly seats
- Ruling Biju Janata Dal nominee retains the Jharsuguda Assembly seat in Odisha
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