Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa strengthens position as BJP win RR Nagar, Sira Assembly bypolls

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In RR Nagar, BJP candidate Munirathna won by a margin of 57,672 votes, defeating Congress candidate H Kusuma and JD-S candidate V Krishnamurthy while B M Rajesh Gowda won the Sira seat for the party by a margin of over 12000 votes. 

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who was facing challenge to his leadership from within his party, has strengthened his position by winning both the by-elections at Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) and Sira.

In RR Nagar, BJP candidate Munirathna won by a margin of 57,672 votes, defeating Congress candidate H Kusuma and JD-S candidate V Krishnamurthy on Tuesday. By winning the RR Nagar constituency for the third time, Munirathna beat his own record from the last election when he contested as Congress candidate.

BJP candidate in Sira Dr. B.M. Rajesh Gowda, won the seat by over 12,000 votes. Gowda won the election against six time legislator and Congress candidate T.B. Jayachandra who ended up polling 61,573 votes. The Janata Dal Secular nominee Ammajamma was at a distant third polling 35,982 votes.

RR Nagar had recorded a low voter turnout of 45.24 per cent, while Sira recorded good voter turnout with 82.31 per cent on November 3.

The RR Nagar assembly by-election was necessitated by the resignation of N Muniratna in July 2019. The Congress fielded a greenhorn H Kusuma, widow of former IAS officer DK Ravi, and JD-U fielded V Krishna Murthy.

The Sira assembly bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislator B Satyanarayana on August 5 after prolonged illness. The JD-S fielded Satyanarayana's widow Ammajamma as its candidate.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said he took responsibility for the party’s defeat in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Sira bypolls, but asked his cadre not to be disheartened.

“As a president, I take responsibility for the defeat of the party candidates in the two constituencies. We accept the people’s verdict with respect. The Congress isn’t in a position to question it, because we believe in democracy,” he said, adding that the party would discuss the results and take “corrective action” in the coming days.

The resounding victory the party candidates got in RR Nagar and Sira is likely to set at rest all speculations regarding a change of Yediyruappa’s leadership. He is expected to consolidate his position further by expanding his cabinet.

Yediyurappa had said earlier that he would go to Delhi after the by-poll results and get the nod for expanding the cabinet, which has six vacant positions (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: The Week

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