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BJP sweeps K'taka bypolls, gains majority

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 30, 2008 10:11 IST
Last Updated: December 30, 2008 13:56 IST

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Coverage: Karnataka Elections

'Operation Lotus' proved to be a success in Karnataka with the Bharatiya Janata Party converting its minority government into a majority by winning 5 out of the 8 seats in the by-polls.

The BJP's tally of 110 following the elections in May 2008 has now gone up to 115, which means it now has absolute majority in the Karnataka legislative assembly.

The tally of the BJP government in the 224-member House is now 120, which includes the support of five independents, who had initially helped the BJP reach the magic mark of 113.

The Janata Dal (Secular) bagged three seats -- Kalpana Siddaraju, wife of deceased JD(S) MLA Siddaraju, won from Maddur, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anita Kumaraswamy won from Madhugiri and MP Krishnappao won from Turuvukere. The Congress failed to open its account in any of the constituencies.

BJP candidates won the elections at Arabhavi, Karwar, Hukkeri, Doddaballapur and Devadurga. The bypolls to the eight constituencies were held on December 27.

While seven of the seats fell vacant due to defection of MLAs into the BJP, the by-polls were held to the Maddur constituency following the death of a sitting JD(S) MLA.

This by-poll also put four Cabinet ministers, who had defected to the BJP, in the safe zone.

The ministers, who won the by-polls are Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), Shivana Gouda (Devadurg), Balachandra Jarakiholi (Arabhavi) and Anand Asnotikar (Karwar). Another BJP leader who won was Narasimha Swamy (Doddaballapur).

The by-polls are being seen as the outcome of 'Operation Lotus' in which the BJP managed to take into its fold seven MLAs out of which four were from the JD-S and three from the Congress.

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