BJP sweeps Karnataka council bypollNovember 3rd, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Nov 3 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka Monday won all the three Legislative Council seats in the bypolls defeating the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular combine.The voting took place Oct 31 in Kodagu, Belgaum and Dharwad districts. BJP’s S.G. Medappa (Kodagu), S.C. Malagi (Belgaum) and Shivaraj Sajjan (Dharwad) defeated their Congress rivals backed by JDS.
The Congress and JDS joined hands to defeat, what they described as, “communal forces” but the BJP candidates won with comfortable margins.
The bypolls followed resignation by council members to contest the May assembly elections. Of the three seats, Kodagu was held by an independent, Belgaum by JDS and Dharwad by JD-United.
With Monday’s win BJP’s strength in the 75-member house goes up to 26. Congress is the largest party with 29 members. JDS strength is reduced by one to eleven. The remaining seats are shared by smaller parties and nominated members.
B.S. Yeddyurappa, BJP’s first chief minister in Karnataka and south India, described the victory of the party candidates as a referendum on his government’s performance.
“In spite of the principal opposition parties — Congress and Janata Dal-Secular –fielding joint candidates, we have won with handsome margin,” Yeddyurappa said in Bellary. He was there for the inauguration of the Bellary thermal power plant by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani.