Yeddyurappa's KJP wins few, decides many
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Two splinter regional parties that emerged out of the BJP during the course of its first government in south India cost it dearly in the Karnataka elections.
The estrangement with its former chief minister Lingayat strongman B S Yeddyurappa after he was indicted for corruption in mining and land acquisition deals cost the BJP 20 of the 33 seats it had won in 2008 in the Lingayat belt in Mumbai-Karnataka. And the estrangement with the Reddy brothers of Bellary after their incarceration for illegal mining played a compounding role in at least two of 20 seats it lost in the Lingayat belt.
The BJP, which won 33 of the total of 50 seats in the region in 2008, was reduced to a mere 13. The KJP essentially split the BJP votes by half in many constituencies.
While Yeddyurappa's KJP itself won only two of the 50 seats here and the BSR Congress of Reddy associate B Sreeramulu won none, the two breakaway parties in combination handed the Congress victory in 31 — 19 more than in 2008.
In Belgaum district's Ramdurg constituency, which has a 35 per cent Lingayat population, the Congress won with 42,310 votes while the BJP and the KJP ended up sharing over 53,369 votes — 37,326 and 16,043 respectively. In Bagalkot's Terdal, with a 31 per cent Lingayat population, the Congress candidate, actress Umashreee, won with 70,189 votes while the BJP finished at 67,590, with the KJP's 5,558 proving effective. And in Bijapur district's Devara Hipparagi, with a 32 per cent Lingayat population, the Congress won with 36,231 against the BJP's 28,135 and the KJP's 24,707.
The BJP, which had a stranglehold in 2008 on the districts of Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gadag and Haveri, was virtually wiped out in these districts, winning only three of the 25 seats.