In the bypolls, the party failed to retain Hanagal Assembly segment in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s home district Haveri, while it managed to win Sindagi by a big margin.
Siddaramaiah met AICC president Sonia Gandhi three weeks before the bypolls and had assured her of a win for the party, especially in Hanagal, as Mane was his choice of candidate.
By fielding its candidate Niyaz Shaik in Hanagal, where it has no base, the party faced humiliation as it could garner a mere 927 votes, and the minorities went with the Congress candidate.
Cong’s Mane wins Hanagal, BJP’s Bhusanur secures Sindagi; Results also raise questions over JDS’ political relevance
The closely-fought Hanagal bypoll result appears to be influenced by a few factors: the charisma of party leaders, unity in the party, and the candidate’s local connect.
The bypoll result may not be an indicator for future elections, but is certainly a wake-up call for the BJP ahead of a series of elections, leading up to the 2023 assembly elections.
The win in Hanagal comes as a ray of hope for the Congress, which has lost 17 of the 21 constituencies where bypolls were held, since the BJP came to power in 2019.
Hanagal and Sindagi assembly segments went to polls on Saturday and the results were announced on Tuesday
Winning candidate Srinivas Mane said money power lost as Congress leaders put a lot of effort to counter the tricks of the BJP government to win the poll.
The results of fiercely-fought bypolls to Hanagal and Sindagi Assembly constituencies will be announced on Tuesday.
The combined turnout, however, was an estimated 6% higher than the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, leading political pundits to speculate which party would benefit by this.
Since bank transactions and withdrawal of large amounts are monitored, the cash is sourced from local businessmen and contractors.
According to political pundits, the BJP bolstered its position at the fag end of the campaign by having most of its leaders and ministers in Sindagi and Hanagal constituencies.
The State Election Commission has beefed up its vigil in Sindagi and Hanagal ahead of the October 30 bypolls to check for illegal acts, including movement of cash to woo the voters.
Around 80 per cent of people in the taluk are farmers or farm labourers. Paddy, sugarcane, cotton, maize, mango and horticultural crops are the mainstay.