Yeddyurappa jumps the gun, claims larger victory than actual

December 30th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBangalore, Dec 30 (IANS) An excited Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Tuesday jumped the gun by declaring that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won in six of the eight assembly by-elections even as the state election commission withheld the result in one constituency.”Yes, we have won even in Turuvekere. Recounting is going on. But we are winning there too,” Yeddyurappa told IANS when reminded that the Turuvekere result was going in favour of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate M.T. Krishnappa.

The final count for the BJP was five victories, with three seats going to the JD-S.

Much before all the eight results were officially announced, the chief minister called a press conference to announce that six of his party candidates had won and the verdict was a vote for stability and development.

“I congratulate the esteemed voters of Karnataka for electing six BJP candidates in the by-elections held in eight constituencies, thus giving clear majority to our party in the state assembly,” Yeddyurappa told reporters.

At the same time, the chief minister’s office circulated an abridged version of Yeddyurappa’s address in Kannada and English, claiming that “six BJP candidates had won”.

Much to the embarrassment of Yeddyurappa and his party, two hours later, the Turuvekere returning officer declared that Krishnappa of the JD-S had won, defeating BJP candidate M.D. Lakshminarayan and H.B. Nanje Gowda of the Congress.

Incidentally, Lakshminarayan, who was carried away by the leads established early and ‘declared’ his win, suffered what was described as a heart attack and collapsed on learning that he had lost the contest after the votes were recounted.

According to party sources, an ailing Lakshminarayan was rushed to Bangalore by road, about 70 km from Tumkur where the counting was held, and admitted to a private hospital.

Unfazed by the setback in Turuvekere, an elated Yeddyurappa said the “unprecedented verdict” was in his party’s favour though JD-S had emerged victorious in three assembly segments - Madhugiri, Maddur and Turuvekare.

Admitting that the by-poll outcome had increased the ruling party’s responsibility, Yeddyurappa said the huge margin of victory of the BJP candidates indicated people’s approval of his government’s programmes, policies and performance over the last seven months.

“We will strive to live up to their expectations by speeding up development and giving good governance,” he affirmed.

The chief minister also ruled out a cabinet reshuffle and declared that the five independents who were made ministers for helping the BJP form the government would continue as ministers.

Though six independents, including the five ministers, are supporting the government, he mentioned only five.

“We formed the government with the support of five independents when we fell short of three seats for simple majority. The same arrangement will continue and the apple cart will not be disturbed as the independents backed our government during the most crucial time,” Yeddyurappa said.

In the May 2008 assembly elections, the BJP won 110 of the 224 seats, falling short of the half-way mark (113), while the JD-S bagged 28 seats and the Congress 80. Independents won the remaining six seats. One seat is filled by nomination to give representation to the Anglo-Indian community.

The leading opposition party, Congress, drew a blank though three of its former legislators defected to the BJP and won in the by-elections this time.

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