Bellary: The ruling BJP in Karnataka on Sunday suffered a severe drubbing at the hands of party rebels, mining barons Reddy brothers, in the Bellary Rural Assembly seat bypoll as their associate B Sriramulu scored a massive win, officials said.
Sriramulu, former BJP minister who contested as an Independent after quitting the party, romped home with a huge majority of around 46,000 votes over his nearest rival B Ramprasad of Congress, who he had beaten for the seat in the May 2008 Assembly elections that brought the BJP to power for the first time in Karnataka.
BJP’s P Gadilingappa was way behind with just 17,366 votes.
Sriramulu polled 74,527 votes to Ramprasad’s 27,737, spokesperson of the State election authorities told mediapersons at the end of counting that began around 8am on Sunday.
Around 120,000 out of over 171,000 eligible voters had cast their ballots November 30 in the bypoll.
Thanking the people for electing him again, Sriramulu told reporters here that “BJP has been taught a lesson for ditching people who helped it to come to power”.
With Sriramulu’s victory, Reddy brothers’ gamble in taking on BJP, in spite of the most aggressive of them, Gali Janardhana Reddy, being in Hyderabad jail in connection with illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh, has paid off.
The brothers are still in BJP, though the party has suspended Somashekara for campaigning for Sriramulu.
Karunakara and Somashekara are Assembly members while Janardhana is in legislative council.
BJP wins one Himachal seat
Shimla: In the Himachal Pradesh bypolls for two Assembly seats, the BJP on Sunday won one seat that was the stronghold of the Opposition Congress, while it lost its seat to the Congress in another.
State election officials said the BJP’s Hirday Ram defeated Congress’ Vinay Kumar in Renuka (reserved) constituency by over 3,500 votes.
In Nalagarh constituency of Solan district, Congress’ Lakhwinder Rana won by over 1,500 votes from his close rival Gurnam Kaur of the BJP.