Bengaluru, November 6: The results of Karnataka bypolls are a major setback to the BJP, said former chief minister and party veteran BS Yeddyurappa. Calling it a "warning" for BJP workers ahead of 2019, the Lingayat strongman said they need to gear up from today to turn the tables on Congress-JD(S) coalition in 2019.
"The goal remains to win as many Lok Sabha seats as we can to ensure PM Modi's victory next year," said Yeddyurappa, in his first statement after BJP's 1:4 rout in the bye-elections. Karnataka By-Elections Results 2018: Congress-JD(S) Alliance Bags 4 of 5 Seats, BJP Retains Shivamogga.
In the bypoll results announced today, the Congress-JD(S) alliance won 4 of the 5 seats contested. The BJP managed to retain the seat of Shimoga, the constituency vacated by BS Yeddyurappa for his Raghavendra.
Notably, the BJP was the incumbent winner two of the 5 seats contested - Shimoga and Bellary. However, the saffron unit suffered a shock defeat in Bellary, where it had been in power for the last 14 years.
Yeddyurappa blamed the Congress-JD(S) of using malpractices to win the bypolls. "They used unprecedented money power, muscle power and also government power. Liquor in large stock was supplied to all the seats where the by-elections were held. In Shimoga, we prevented them from using the money and liquor power. But at other places, they abused their authority," the former CM said.
Meanwhile, JD(S) deputy chief and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy attributed the favourable results to the performance of his coalition government in the last five months.
"Without any arrogance, let me make it clear that the target before us now is to win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in 2019," Kumaraswamy said.