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Last Updated : Dec 10, 2019 07:58 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Karnataka bypolls: What BJP's big win means for the party and CM Yediyurappa

With the conclusion of the bypolls to 15 seats, the strength of the Karnataka Assembly has now gone up to 223 from 208, in which the BJP has 117 MLAs— four more than the halfway mark.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win big in the Karnataka bypolls, the results for which were declared on December 9. Of the 15 Assembly seats going to polls, the party managed to win 12— very close to its expectation of winning 13 seats.

While electorally the results are a boost for the party, coming as it is from the shadow of the Maharashtra fiasco, the 12 seats that it has managed to win will also provide some kind of stability in the politics and governance of the state, observers have stated.

Ever since the state elections, held in May 2018, threw up a hung Assembly— with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with 104 seats— Karnataka has witnessed political instability.

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While the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) managed to join hands to cobble up an alliance government, it came under threat in July this year after 14 legislators from the Congress and three of the JD(S) resigned from the assembly. High-octane political drama ensued, and it ended with a floor test that the coalition lost, paving way for the BJP to form a government in the state.

However, reports suggest that the BJP's central leadership wasn't too happy with BS Yediyurappa helming the government and the party in Karnataka.

According to a report, that was one of the reasons why, even as the BJP formed government in the state, there was a delay in the party's top leadership giving a green signal for Yediyurappa to take oath as the Chief Minister. Moreover, even as that happened, the central leadership of the party decided to name three Deputy CMs, reportedly to keep Yediyurappa's influence in check.

According to observers, all this created an impression of Yediyurappa being isolated by the top leadership even as he made several trips to New Delhi seeking relief funds for a flood-affected Karnataka. This had even led to Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a BJP leader, saying that the state was being ignored "just to sideline its chief minister"— a statement that had reportedly not gone down well with the central leadership.

Experts believe that the recent bypoll wins have helped Yediyurappa firm up his position both within the state unit of the party and with the central leadership, which reportedly hasn't been very supportive of him in recent times. The first testimony of this notion is Home Minister Amit Shah's tweet to congratulate Yediyurappa on BJP's "resounding" victory in Karnataka bypolls.

On his part, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in poll-bound Jharkhand, said that the result in Karnataka has ensured that the Congress and its allies will now "have to bite the dust".

"The bypoll results today showed that the voters have ensured the Congress and JD(S) don't get to stab them in the back again," PM Modi said.

With the conclusion of the bypolls to 15 seats, the strength of the Karnataka Assembly has now gone up to 223 from 208, in which the BJP has 117 MLAs— four more than the halfway mark.

This puts the party in a comfortable position at a time when the government ran the risk of falling had they not won at least six seats in the December 5 bypolls.

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First Published on Dec 10, 2019 07:58 pm
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