Bypolls: 2-1! BJP on top, Congress crushed in Hebbal

Saffron party wins Devadurga, too; Bidar, Congress' only consolation.

Bengaluru: The ruling Congress in Karnataka suffered a setback winning only one Assembly seat of the three which went to polls on Saturday while the opposition BJP bagged two seats including the prestigious Hebbal in Bengaluru, where veteran Congress leader Jaffer Sharief’s grandson, Rehaman Sharief, had contested as Congress candidate.

The BJP’s Y.A. Narayanaswamy trounced Sharief by a margin of over 19,000 votes in Hebbal, where the JD(S) candidate lost his deposit. The BJP sprung a surprise wresting Devadurga from Congress, for which the only consolation was the Bidar North seat, won by party candidate Rahim Khan.

The BJP’s Shivanagouda Naik won Devadurga defeating Congressman Rajashekar Naik while in Bidar North, Khan crushed the challenge from BJP’s Prakash Khandre with former CM Dharam Singh lending a helping hand.

All eyes were on Hebbal, which the Congress turned into a battle of prestige after the party top brass virtually imposed Rehaman Sharief on state leaders including CM Siddaramaiah. Now that the results are out, accusations have started flying that Rehaman lost because of ‘internal sabotage.’

Fingers are being pointed at the Siddaramaiah camp which wanted MLC Byrathi Suresh as the candidate, instead of Rehaman. Others aver that minority community leaders, who do not see eye to eye with Jaffer Sharief, wanted to check his clout and subtly did the damage.

What has further fuelled doubts about the ‘enemy within’ is Narayanaswamy’s massive margin of victory in what was supposed to be a battle which would go down to the wire.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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