BENGALURU: Stunned by the magnitude of defeat in the bypoll, state BJP leaders will meet in Bengaluru on November 15 to discuss reasons for the party’s poor performance, especially in Ballari and Jamkhandi, and measures needed to be taken ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Of the five seats, the party managed to win only Shivamogga Lok Sabha segment, while the coalition partners won four seats, including two Lok Sabha segments. Though BJP managed to get 2.44 lakh votes in Mandya and made some inroads into the JD(S) bastion, the party seems to be concerned over its poor performance in Ballari and combined opposition’s ability to reduce margin of BJP’s victory in BS Yeddyurappa’s home district Shivamogga.
Sources said during the core committee meeting, the party leaders are likely to discuss Ramanagara fiasco, party’s failure to take on combined opposition and strategies needed to be put in place to prepare the party for 2019 general elections. Congress and JD(S) have announced their decision to face LS elections together to defeat their common enemy BJP and have expressed confidence of winning over 20 seats.
In Ballari, the BJP failed to match Congress’s firepower as it deployed over 10 ministers and many senior leaders, including legislators to work for its candidate VS Ugrappa, who won with a margin of 2.43 lakh votes. The BJP, however, accused the Congress of using money power to win the polls. Its position in Ramanagara was even worse. The national party was virtually left without a candidate after L Chandrashekar retired from contest just two days before the polls and joined Congress.
“We admit what happened in Ramanagar is a lesson for us. Our candidate was hijacked by Congress and JD(S) two days before the elections. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda must make his stand clear and tell people if he endorses such undemocratic action?,” State BJP General Secretary and MLC N Ravi Kumar said on Thursday. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita Kumaraswamy was elected as member of the legislative assembly from Ramanagara.
The BJP leaders, however, feel that the bypoll results will not have any impact on the general elections when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be a big factor.