Karnataka MLC polls: BJP retains 2 seats, Cong wins 2
The BJP has managed to retain two seats and the opposition Congress won two seats in the Karnataka Legislative Council polls, results of which were announced on Thursday.
Published: 17th June 2022 05:16 AM | Last Updated: 17th June 2022 05:16 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: The BJP has managed to retain two seats and the opposition Congress won two seats in the Karnataka Legislative Council polls, results of which were announced on Thursday. BJP candidate Basavaraj Horatti won the West Teachers’ seat and large and medium scale industries minister Murugesh Nirani’s brother Hanumant Nirani won the North West Graduates’ seat. Congress candidate Prakash Hukkeri wrested the North West Graduates’ seat from the BJP and the South Graduates’ seat — earlier held by the JDS — was won by Congress candidate Madhu G Made Gowda, after an intense multi-cornered fight among the candidates of the three major parties and three independents in the Vokkaliga bastion. The independents seemingly ate away the traditional BJP and the JDS votes and the split of votes helped the Congress in this constituency.
The Bommai-led BJP state government has however managed to retain the majority in the Upper House by winning two seats as it has crossed the halfway mark in the 75-member House. This will enable the party to pass significant bills such as anti-conversion bill, which was made a law through the ordinance with the governor’s nod.
BJP’s performance hints at shrinking base
The BJP now has 39 members in the Legislative Council, followed by Congress (26), JDS (8), and an independent — Lakhan Jarkiholi. A seat is vacant following the resignation of former JDS MLC C M Ibrahim and the BJP could win it as well when the notification is issued to elect the lone member in the near future, according to sources. But ahead of 2023 Assembly polls, the BJP’s performance especially in the Council polls indicates that the party has lost some ground.
The trend of the December 2021 Council poll results of 25 seats from the local bodies in which the BJP and the Congress parties had won eleven seats each continued in the June 13 Council polls as well. The South Graduates’ MLC seat BJP candidate M V Ravishankar attributed his defeat to the JD(S) votes shifting to the Congress party. In fact, the Congress swept the MLC seats in the region except for Hassan, as it has its MLCs elected from Tumakuru, Kolar, Mandya, Mysuru and Bengaluru rural from the local bodies. Up north, a veteran like Prakash Hukkeri won the seat for the party in the Veerashaiva Lingayat bastion.
An upbeat Belagavi Rural Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar had even termed the victory as a ‘trend setter’ for the Congress party. The BJP which claimed to have a stronghold in the Veerashaiva Lingayat bastion in north Karnataka especially Belagavi and seeking to strengthen its base in the Old Mysuru region has to rethink its strategy. The JD(S) which lost some prominent leaders, the most notable being Basavaraj Horatti, has a daunting task of finding leaders to replace them.