Karnataka polls: State saw fights that a Chief Minister and holy men lost

A school dropout, GTD becomes a giant killer after defeating Siddu; Patil wins despite seers campaign against him.

Published: 16th May 2018 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2018 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

JD(S) candidate G T Devegowda flashes the victory sign after defeating Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari in Mysuru on Tuesday | Udayashankar S

By Express News Service

While the state election had everyone on the edge of their seat, contests in a few constituencies were more closely watched for the heavy-weight candidates.In Badami, outgoing CM Siddaramaiah won against BJP’s Sriramulu by a thin margin of 1,696 votes. This fight was closely fought with Sriramulu even taking lead in the eighth round with just 305 votes, though the Congress leader regained with a 4,000-vote lead in the next round of counting. To help Siddaramaiah win in Badami, senior party leaders SR Patil, CM Ibrahim, RB Thimmappur and Satish Jarkihole had camped in the constituency for over two weeks during campaigning.

Siddaramaiah had said that he decided on contesting from this seat after much dilly-dallying and “on the insistence of leaders in North Karnataka”. But, there were speculations that he too was keen on contesting from this second seat, worried that he may not fare well in Chamundeswari -- a constituency he lost to JD(S) leader DT Devegowda by over 30,000 votes. Devegowda, who is now being seen as a giant slayer, is a school dropout who entered politics by contesting the cooperative society polls and then winning the zilla panchayat elections twice. He said that he is sure to be made the District Minister in a government led by HD Kumaraswamy.

State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa won in Shikaripura by a margin of 35,397 votes. This was his ninth election since 1983, out of which he has won eight from this constituency.B S Yeddyurappa secured 86,983 votes while Congress candidate Goni Malatesh secured 51,586 votes. In the district, he led the party to win six out of the seven constituencies. He even managed to bring Kumar Bangarappa into the BJP fold, to be fielded against his brother Madhu Bangarappa of JD(S) in Sorab.

Mooting a minority-religion status for Lingayat philosophy largely backfired on Congress. But not in Babaleshwar, where Congress leader MB Patil won by a margin of over 30,000 votes. He had been predicted to lose badly for dividing the Veerashaiva-Lingayat communities, both of who have a large voter base here. He also had the influential Panchapeeta seers campaigning against him. But the Congress leader seems to have made this impressive lead, with his 98,339 votes against the BJP’s Vijayakumar S Patil, because of his farmer friendly initiatives. The saffron party candidate did not win the seat despite campaigns by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and  BJP national president Amit Shah.


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