Political observers believe that the shift of the JD(S) vote to the Congress made the Congress win this election.
NEW DELHI: The Karnataka election results declared on Saturday brought a huge setback for the BJP as several prominent leaders from the party, including 12 sitting ministers in the Bommai government, could not secure a victory for themselves.
According to the Election Commission, BJP’s sitting minister V. Somanna, Minister for Housing and Infrastructure Development lost both the seats he contested from. While from the Varuna Assembly seat, Somanna lost to former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, from the other Chamarajanagar seat which he also contested, Somanna lost to Congress’ C. Puttarangashetty.
Another minister in the Bommai government, R. Ashok, Minister of Revenue, lost to Congress’ senior leader D.K. Shivakumar. Shivakumar won the Karnataka election by the highest margin of more than one lakh votes by securing 70% of the total votes polled.
Karnataka education minister, BJP’s B.C. Nagesh lost from the Tiptur seat to Congress’ K. Shadakshari. Nagesh was at the heart of the hijab ban controversy in Karnataka’s educational institutes. Some of the other BJP ministers who lost include Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy, Large and Medium Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani, Minister of Transport B. Sriramulu, Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol, Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil, Health Minister K. Sudhakar, Small Scale Industries and Municipal Corporation Minister M.T.B. Nagaraj, Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports, Narayana Gowda and Minister of Textile and Sugarcane Shankar Patil.
Even its other prominent leaders like C.T. Ravi, who is national general secretary of the BJP and also in charge of three states, Goa, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, lost to the Congress from the Chikkaballapur Assembly constituency.
The BJP, which was hoping to secure its government in this southern state for the second time, fell short by 49 seats to hit the half way mark in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly. The Congress won the Assembly elections in Karnataka, securing 136 Assembly seats. However, the voting percentage of the BJP remained intact compared to the 2018 Assembly elections in the state. In 2018, the BJP secured 36.35% of votes and even this time, the BJP managed to keep its vote share more or less the same, with a slight difference of just 0.08%. The BJP got 35.9% of the total votes polled. Congress increased its vote share from 38.14% to 43% and the JD(S) reduced it from 18.3% to 13.3%. Political observers believe that this shift of the JD(S) vote to the Congress made the Congress win this election.
However, even within the Congress, some of its prominent turncoat leaders who the party thought could make fortunes for the party, like former BJP leader and Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jagdish Shettar, who joined the Congress after being denied a ticket from the BJP, lost from the Huball-Dharawad Central seat, once considered the stronghold of Shettar.
Even, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of JD(S) chief and H.D. Kumaraswamy and grandson of former Prime Minister of India, H.D. Devagowda, lost from the Ramanagara Assembly seat.