BENGALURU — The Karnataka by-polls has brought a bumper Diwali gift for the ruling Congress-JDS alliance as it won two Lok Sabha seats, including the Ballari Lok Sabha seat that it snatched from BJP while the saffron party just managed to retain the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat. The ruling combine has also retained the two Assembly seats.
But what is more disturbing than mere defeat is the sharp fall in its vote share in the three Lok Sabha seats compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP had won Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat in 2014 with a huge margin of 3.63 lakh votes but this time it could retain the seat with a margin of 52,148 votes. The party had won the Ballari Lok Sabha seat also in 2014 with a margin of 85,144 votes. But this time, the seat has been snatched from it by Congress with an impressive margin of 2.43 lakh votes. That voters have posed faith in the Congress-JDS alliance is clearly visible in Mandya also. This seat was won by JDS in 2014 with meagre margin of 5,518 votes. However, the party has retained the seat with the whopping margin of 3.24 lakh votes.
Both Shivamogga and Ballari Lok Sabha seats fell vacant after BJP veterans and MPs BS Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu resigned to contest Assembly polls in May this year. The Mandya Lok Sabha seat was vacated after JDS MP CS Puttaraju was elected to the assembly.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 17 of Karnataka’s 23 parliamentary seats, including Shivamogga and Ballari. The Congress won 9 and Janata Dal (Secular) or JDS 2 seats.
Compared to 2014, BJP’s Vote Share Falls in 2018 in Karnataka
|2018 Lok Sabha By-Polls||2014 Lok Sabha Polls|
|Shivamogga||BY Raghavendra||BJP||52,148||BS Yeddyurappa||BJP||3.63 lakh|
|Ballari||VS Ugrappa||Cong||2.43 lakh||B Sreeramulu||BJP||85,144|
|Mandya||LR Shivramegowda||JDS||3.24 lakh||CS Puttaraju||JDS||5,518|